Tonight the Utah Jazz start off their season high five game home stand. We know they have been road warriors or late; but can they take care of the ESA? They better. The New York Knicks are horrible. They are the worst team in the entire league; have lost 4 games in a row (average final scores of 83.0 - 106.8); and are playing without Carmelo Anthony and Jose Calderon, two starters. So obviously the super hot Utah Jazz are going to be in for some trouble. Having already lost at home to the Los Angeles Lakers (16-46), Boston Celtics (26-36), Indiana Pacers (28-34), Orlando Magic (21-43), and Denver Nuggets (23-41) this season it would be foolhardy to expect New York (who played last night) to fall down and let us walk all over them.
Derek Fisher is a terrible head coach, and they have a pretty terrible front office as well. If you combine it with disinterested players, some injuries, and a whole lot of crap you get something that looks like this:
This bloodbath is the final score margin of each of their games this year. (Max 20 pts, or -20 pts) It really bleeds quite a bit . . . and they have lost 30 of their last 37 games.
Fun fact: finding out who starts each game for this team is impossible. The PR notes from the NBA don't even know, as Fisher seems to mix it up for no reason every few games.
Injuries and absences:
- Carmelo Anthony (NYK) -- out
- Jose Calderon (NYK) -- out
- Alec Burks (UTA) -- out
- Quincy Acy (NYK) -- doubtful
- Gordon Hayward (UTA) --
questionable<-- He is now out
Gordon Hayward (low back strain) is OUT tonight vs. New York. #NYKatUTA— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 10, 2015
- Tim Hardaway Jr. (NYK) -- questionable
- Ian Clark (UTA) -- assigned to the NBA DL
- Grant Jerrett (UTA) -- assigned to the NBA DL
No Melo makes this Knicks team less dangerous, but less predictable. We don't know where they are going to go when the game is on the line. Of course, if Hayward doesn't play tonight we won't know that about the Jazz either. So far this season we've seen the Knicks win and lose games without Melo playing. We have yet to see what the Jazz can do without G-Time.
Gordon Hayward and Carmelo Anthony. Oh, okay. Nope. Well, Alexey Shved and Joe Ingles? Man. The undercard is it's own undercard in this game. Let's go with Tim Hardaway and Trey Burke. Two Michigan guys playing against one another. They aren't the same position, but have similar roles -- get out on the floor and shoot. The last time these two teams played Trey Burke hit the game winner. Hopefully Tim doesn't even the score tonight.
If Utah loses tonight it will sadly be both: a) a huuuu-ge let down, and b) par for the course. This is a team that plays up against the best, and plays really poorly against the worst. I love all the road wins this season, but it burns to have lost to the Lakers (#27), Magic (#26), Nuggets (#24), and Celtics (#20) teams this year. At home. Seriously. That's awful.