About 20 hours ago, the New York Knicks boarded a flight bound for Salt Lake City after getting dump trucked by the LA Lakers. The humiliating loss was no surprise, as the Knicks remain the perennial doormat of the Atlantic Division, yet are somehow in the conversation for every big free agent that comes available. Yes, the Knicks limp into Utah on limited rest and with only three wins against +.500 teams. This is a classic trap game, but lately Jazz have beaten who they were supposed to beat. In fact, one can argue that the last “bad loss” came against Minnesota on November 19th. Not only has Utah won 6 in a row, but they are 11-1 over the past twelve games. Tonight’s game is a prime opportunity to keep rolling.
The other night, the Jazz were reunited with beloved forward Derrick Favors. Tonight, the Knicks are reunited with their former guard, Emmanuel Mudiay. Mudiay has been playing well of late and has been the solid backup that fans have hoped he would be this season.
When: Monday January 6th, 2020 • 6:00 PM MT
Where: Smoothie King Center • New Orleans, Louisiana
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone, 96.9 FM THE GAME
What to Watch For
Can the Jazz take advantage of the depleted NYK frontcourt?
The strongest players for the Knicks are in the frontcourt, but two of them are doubtful to play tonight. Marcus Morris and Julius Randle are injured, which leaves them with a rotation of an aging Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, Mitchell Robsinson and Kevin Knox II. Not exactly Murderers’ Row. Rudy Gobert should dominate the paint tonight, and it will be disappointing if he doesn’t.
The other night, swingman Bojan Bogdanovic went off for 35 points—and no other offensive stats. No rebounds, no assists. He was like the guy in church/pickup basketball who camps out on the three point line, shoots, sometimes drive, and does little else. He was definitely due for a big scoring night, but he’s got to distribute the ball and get at least a few rebounds.
Can Jordan Clarkson Stay Hot?
I admit, I was less than thrilled when I heard that the Jazz had traded for Clarkson, but he’s put together a solid stretch as the main scorer off the bench. He faces a fairly weak bench backcourt tonight, so expect him to score at least 15. He’s been doing what the FO brought him in to do, and doing it well.
These are really lowlights, but, well, they’re the Knicks.
Game Thread Ground Rules
Welcome to the SLC Dunk Game Thread.
For all the jabs I’ve taken at the Knicks, I will say that their fans are almost all pretty great. Because they’re so terrible, people who follow them are dedicated and they know their stuff. Also, Posting and Toasting is a great blog, so don’t go on their gamethread and say dumb things.
Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward (this means you, Pounding the Rock), Ben Simmons can hit threes, Gordon Hayward should not be booed, Donovan Mitchell is Monta Ellis 2.0, men should never cry, or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.