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.
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
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
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.
New York native Donovan Mitchell on return to Madison Square Garden: “I think last year the whole trip was really just a blur to me. I think this year it’s more relaxed and I’m just excited to see friends and family but also excited to play in The Garden.” pic.twitter.com/YB9DyiQVWF— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) March 19, 2019
Put the clamps down
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.