1997–98 Utah Jazz season

The 1997–98 NBA season was the Jazz's 24th season in the National Basketball Association, and 19th season in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz entered the season as runner-ups in the 1997 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games. Without John Stockton for the first 18 games due to a knee injury, the Jazz slowly got off to an 11–7 start to the season. However, Stockton would eventually return as the Jazz won 31 of their final 36 games after the All-Star break, and finished first place in the Midwest Division with a 62–20 record. The Jazz's top scorer Karl Malone, who averaged 27.0 points per game, was part of a Jazz offense that had two other players, Stockton and Jeff Hornacek, averaging double-digits in points. Malone was the only member of the team to play in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Jazz trailed 2–1 to the 8th-seeded Houston Rockets. However, they won the series in five games. In the semifinals, they defeated the San Antonio Spurs in five games. After that, the Jazz swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals in four straight games to advance to the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year, and once again, met the Chicago Bulls in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals, in which they lost to the Bulls in six games, just like last year's NBA Finals. Following the season, Antoine Carr signed as a free agent with the Houston Rockets, and Chris Morris signed with the Phoenix Suns.

Offseason

NBA Draft

The Jazz used two picks; a first round pick on point guard Jacque Vaughn and a second round pick on Nate Erdmann. Vaughn would play with the team for four seasons before going to the Atlanta Hawks and Erdmann was cut from the team right before regular season, therefore signing with Idaho Stampede in the CBA.

Roster

Roster listing
1997–98 Utah Jazz roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
SG40United StatesAnderson, Shandon6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)208 lb (94 kg)1973-12-31Georgia
PF55United StatesCarr, Antoine6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)225 lb (102 kg)1961-07-23Wichita State University
C45United StatesCunningham, William6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)250 lb (113 kg)Temple
PG10United StatesEisley, Howard6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)177 lb (80 kg)1972-12-04Boston College
C44United StatesFoster, Greg6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)240 lb (109 kg)1968-10-03UTEP
SG14United StatesHornacek, Jeff6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)190 lb (86 kg)1963-05-03Iowa State
PG25United StatesHudson, Troy6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)170 lb (77 kg)1976-03-13Southern Illinois
SF31United StatesKeefe, Adam6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)230 lb (104 kg)1970-02-22Stanford
PF32United StatesMalone, Karl (C)6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)250 lb (113 kg)1963-07-24Louisiana Tech
SF34United StatesMorris, Chris6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)210 lb (95 kg)1966-01-20Auburn
C00United StatesOstertag, Greg7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)280 lb (127 kg)1973-03-06Kansas
SF3United StatesRussell, Bryon6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)225 lb (102 kg)1970-12-31Long Beach State
PG12United StatesStockton, John (C)6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)170 lb (77 kg)1962-03-26Gonzaga
PG11United StatesVaughn, Jacque6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)190 lb (86 kg)1975-02-11Kansas
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster

Salaries

Regular season

Season standings


Record vs. opponents

Game log

1997-98 Game Log

Total: 62-20 (Home: 36-5; Road: 26-15)

Playoffs

Western Conference First Round

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (8) Houston Rockets Last Playoff Meeting: 1997 Western Conference Finals (Utah won 3-2)

Western Conference Semifinals

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (5) San Antonio Spurs Last Playoff Meeting: 1996 Western Conference Semifinals (Utah won 4-1)

Western Conference Finals

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers Last Playoff Meeting: 1997 Western Conference Semifinals (Utah won 4-0)

NBA Finals

With home-court advantage, the Jazz were favored by many[who?] to end the Bulls' dynasty, as they took Game 1 at the Delta Center. However, the Bulls rallied to take Game 2 and jumped out to a 3–1 lead by taking the first two games in Chicago. Facing elimination, the Jazz edged the Bulls by two points to send the series back to Utah. In Game 6, the Jazz had a late lead, but Michael Jordan, playing in his final game with the Bulls, led the Bulls to an 87–86 win, hitting the game-winning shot with 5.2 seconds left.

Legend: OT denotes a game decided in overtime

Bulls win series 4–2

Player statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game

Season

Playoffs

Awards and records

Transactions

Trades

Free agents

See also

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1997–98 Utah Jazz season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.