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Utah Jazz go for five straight wins as they visit New York Knicks

The Jazz enter MSG needing to extend their win streak to keep up in the standings

NBA: New York Knicks at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

We’re not going to mince words here. This is a game the Utah Jazz (41-29) have no excuse to lose. The New York Knicks (14-57) are the worst team in the league, and I’m not sure it’s even close.

The Jazz offense has been humming since the terrible outing against OKC March 11. Over the current win streak the offensive rating sits at 116.8. The Knicks, who have lost nine of their last 10, have a defensive rating of 114.8 during that stretch. This is one the Jazz have to have.

Game Info

When: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 • 5:30 PM MDT

Where: Madison Square Garden • New York City, NY

TV: AT&T SportsNet

Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone


Utah Jazz:

Dante Exum — Torn Patellar Tendon — OUT

Derrick Favors — Hamstring Tightness — PROBABLE

New York Knicks:

Frank Ntilikina — Groin — QUESTIONABLE

Dennis Smith Jr. — Back — OUT

Noah Vonleh — Ankle — DOUBTFUL

What to watch for

Donovan Mitchell’s homecoming

NBA: Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the second game of Donovan Mitchell’s career at MSG. As a budding superstar in the NBA, entering the building in which you attended games as a child must be surreal. Spida will have family and friends in the building tonight, and I’m sure he’ll put on a show.

Mitchell’s first trip to the Garden last season was the 15th game of his NBA career and only his 7th start. In a five point loss, he put up 19 points on 17 shots, dished 3 assists and grabbed 4 rebounds. He also had 4 turnovers and was a -9 on the court. As impressive as that stat line was for a rookie in his 7th NBA start, I’m sure he’ll be looking to have a better performance tonight and, more importantly, exit the building with a win.

Put the clamps down

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks offense going against the Jazz defense is a mismatch of all mismatches. At 104.6, New York has the worst offensive rating in the league. At 105.7, Utah’s defensive rating is the second best in the league. Over the Jazz’s current four game win streak, the defensive rating has been a ridiculous 98.2. To boot, New York is also missing its leading scorer, Dennis Smith, Jr. who is averaging 14.6 points. If the Knicks hit triple digits tonight, that’s probably a bad night from the Utah defense.