The Utah Jazz are 3-6, which is right where I expected they would be at this point. Of course, I felt like they would have lost to the Detroit Pistons, and defeated the Indiana Pacers, but so far my idea of where this team is in wins and losses is right on track. I also expected them to show up well tonight and snatch a victory over the New York Knicks (2-7). It may happen, but the problem is that *had* the Jazz finished off their last two games they would have a much better record.
But it's all baby steps for this team still. The last four years were frivolous at best, and mismanaged at worst. Things are finally moving forward now.
Tonight's game will be a good test because the Knicks are not a winning team, but have a lot of talent. They have many one on one scorers, and are playing at home. Against NYC the Jazz are 42-46 All-Time, with a lowly 12-32 record in MSG. A win isn't likely according to the Las Vegas odds makers, but I think our guys will put up a fight. And who knows, maybe a win is in their hands for tonight?
Because of injuries to Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani this is who the Knicks will be starting tonight (according to the media notes at NBA.com). The issue here is moving Carmelo Anthony to the PF spot from the get-go meaning that there are mismatches all over the place. As a result we may get to see more Gordon Hayward at the PF spot tonight. And really, a Trey Burke / Dante Exum / Alec Burks / Gordon Hayward / Derrick Favors unit is tough to guard against.
Utah has a size advantage that will not hurt them if they can keep Carmelo at small forward. But no matter where he plays he will be a challenge for whomever is defending him.
New York has a lot of guard/wing depth, and Utah is great inside.
This is just a selection of four bench players from each team -- but it's clear that if this is a running game we could see both teams tinker a bit more. I know that it will be hard to keep Steve Novak off the floor tonight, but perhaps Jeremy Evans could be of more use with his athletic ability and length? I don't know. It would be a great night for Rodney Hood, but he is going to miss his 4th straight game for plantar fasciitis.
The Marquee Matchup will be Hayward against Anthony. It will be a good measuring stick for our leader.
Utah has one more game left on this road trip, tomorrow night in Canada. The Knicks have lost six games in a row. Both teams need a win badly.
But who wants it more?
GO JAZZ GO!
Who is going to win tonight?
This poll is closed
The Utah Jazz (3-6)
The New York Knicks (2-7)