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Utah Jazz vs New York Knicks: Five Things to Watch

Jazz will honour their greats and try to get back to their winning ways

John Stockton is defended by Junior Harrington

The Utah Jazz might be able to clinch a play-off berth (even after their awful performance on their Eastern road trip) before the watchful eye of the ghosts of awesomeness past. Though the celebratory vibe will only really take off if they actually manage the win against the New York Knicks. At least they’ve done everything they can to distract the rival team’s coach. Here are 5 things to watch:

  1. John Stockton

John Stockton is in da house! An honor and a privilege, no further explanation needed, really. Just be in awe!

2) Jeff Hornacek

The miracle man from behind the three-point line, fixer of Andrei Kirilenko’s shot, and head coach for the NY Knicks; Jeff Hornacek will be trying to get one over his former team. The question is, does his team need a win as well (they have moved pretty far out of the Eastern Play-offs, and that is saying something)? There is always something going on in the Big Apple, there is the Phil Jackson drama, there is the Carmelo soap, and there is the get-oldies-in-who-are-always-injured GM mistake.

Hornacek is trying to be the one that is calm, cool, and collected. However, he had to square off against attacks that he isn’t running the triangle often enough, and the defense was so bad he had to delegate that to his second in command. Luckily for them, Porzingis is an absolute gem in the making, and I must say I was cheering when I saw them play and, at one point during the game, he pulled out the old UCLA Cut (the core of Jerry Sloan’s offense but completely absent in Snyder’s playbook), which then resulted in a much needed bucket for them.

3) Howard Eisley

Howard Eisley was the back-up point guard to Stockon from 1995 to the year 2000 and whose most momentous play maybe was a disallowed three-pointer.

He, too, will be gunning for a win against his former team, though, having played for the Knicks, that might not shine too much light on the situation. But Eisley is one of Hornacek’s crew, and in the big city you need all the friendly faces you can find.

4) Rodney Hood

The Jazz needed someone, anyone, to show up against Indiana aside from their stars. Hayward and Gobert did their job, but the supporting cast was going up for the Razzie awards in the away loss. With Favors still out, and Joe Johnson apparently slowly burning out manning the starting position at the four spot, all eyes are on Rodney Hood. Hood recently got back from injury and had some problems starting up last game, but the sooner he is able to provide some of his offensive prowess, the better.

Also, don’t foul. Like, seriously, not that much in so little time.

5) The battle for home court

The Jazz have a seriously tough schedule still ahead, and there are some quality teams behind them in the standing who wouldn’t mind to be in a play-off match-up with the “newbies” in the Play-offs, and have home court to boot. After losing at least one too many game on the road swing, the Jazz need to get back to their winning ways, and do it quickly, and do it tonight. Play-offs are almost in the bag, but you rather have home court than fall all the way back to 7 and be swept by the Spurs (because you know that will happen).

Time for the new generation to take a stand!