This is the last game of the month (unless there's some super secret bonus round after this game, like in Techmo's Super Dodge ball) for both of these teams. And it's been an interesting month for both. The New York Knicks are fighting for that last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With 31 wins they are tied with the Atlanta Hawks, but 1.0 game back because of the two additional losses. The Knicks are 7-3 in their last 10 games and what's impressive is that they've been doing this off of a ridiculous road trip. New York will be playing in their 5th game in 7 nights tonight, having previously played a double header @ Lakers (loss), @ Kings (win), then a stand alone game @ Suns (loss), and just won @ Warriors (win) last night. So it's the last game of a road trip, the second night of a back to back, the third game in four nights, and the fifth game in seven.
So how does it get worse for NY?
@AllThatAmar Nothing! He didn't even appear to hurt it during the game. That report about the x-ray is the extent of the info.— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) March 31, 2014
Yeah. I get my news from twitter, among other places. Btw, Seth Rosenthal is the main man at the SB Nation Knicks blog Posting and Toasting, so check them out. (He was also one of the two SBN people I met at the NBA Draft last year, I didn't meet two, and I was the fifth.) (#math) (#facts)
Anyway, so is a hurt Melo and a tired Knicks team good enough to beat the Jazz? For Utah this is also the second night of a back to back game, and the third game in four nights too. We may be more tired because the Knicks did Phoenix, an off night, then Oakland, and then now Utah. We went from New Orleans, off night, Oklahoma City, and then Utah. Our game was last afternoon though, so maybe we're not as tired. I don't know. There's no "energy meter" on actual human beings.
I'm interested to see how we defend the Knicks if they opt for small-ball for the majority of the game. Because we're trying to win every game possible I guess that means going to small-ball as well for match ups, and then forgetting that we actually have a commanding size advantage.
"Forgetting our advantages is what helps us build our winning culutre," Randy Rigby, probably.
Our size advantage increases when you look at who's out and who's in for this game.
|6||Tim Hardaway Jr.||2||3||73||22.9||10.1||1.5||0.8||0.5||0.1||12.8||13.0||43.1%||36.1%||81.8%|
|10||John Lucas III||1||2||42||14.1||3.8||0.9||1.0||0.3||0.0||5.3||6.0||32.6%||29.8%||62.5%|
Yeah, I don't think Melo can check Enes on the blow block. Get two quick fouls on him early and it's game over, right?
Or maybe that's what we need to do to lose, get a series of missmatches that only serve the purpose of identifying how our team copes with them? That would be good for a season of development and discovery. But that great sailing ship hit an iceberg back in January, and no plans are there to salvage it.
For the academics out there, the Jazz are 42-45 all-time against the Knicks, and a commanding 30-13 at home against them. New York has won 10 of their last 13 games and are 15-22 on the road. And they have two wins on this road trip. They'll try to make it three and get 0.5 games closer to the playoffs with a win tonight.
There is only one man who can save us: Richard Jefferson and a time machine. We only have one of those things though. So the end result could be a loss. Unless the Knicks are already on the jet plane home mentally and not looking at this game.