2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks @ Jazz

With a dearth of nationally televised games and a roster devoid of even a one-time all-star, even the most devout NBA fans rarely watch more than the highlights of Utah Jazz games. The Sacramento Kings get a little more national attention thanks to Boogie Cousins and their recent Knicksish front office follies, but with late start times and general basketball suckery, they are still hidden from the view of most East Coasters.

The Jazz and Kings faced off last night before each would host the Knicks over the next two days, and in an effort to bring Knickerbloggers some quality pre-game analysis (coupled with a DraftKings tournament in the balance – hey, Darren Collison, you’re dead to me), I sunk into the glorious corner of my L-shaped couch, channeled my innermost advance scout and watched every minute of Utah’s 114-106 loss to the Ragin’ Rajons. Here are a few things to keep an eye on tonight as Kristaps and Co. look to end a two game slide against a Jazz team on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Jazz offense primarily features Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks running high pick and rolls and dribble handoffs around Derrick Favors at the high post. Favors often ends up with the ball at the top of the key, and it would be nice to see Robin Lopez deviate from his hand-down man-down approach against Greg Monroe on Saturday and actually contest these shots. Hayward has a smooth game, slashing into the lane for floaters and layups, while Burks’ combination of speed and handle against the Knicks’ lackluster perimeter defense is my pick for nightmare matchup of the night.

Luckily, that’s about it for the Jazz as far as playmakers go. Trey Burke is shooting better this season but still not doing much else (20.2 AST%), while Trey Lyles (41 TS%) seems light years away from being an impact player. Rodney Hood is the shooter surrounding those high pick and rolls, but he’s shooting just 31% from behind the arc. Trevor Booker and Joe Ingles rarely look at the basket before passing.

This team really misses Rudy Gobert, who has missed the three games since Utah’s close defeat to the Warriors and is out for the foreseeable future with a sprained knee. In addition to stellar defense and a 13.7 career ORB%, the Stifle Tower’s dives to the rim opened up the Jazz offense a la Tyson Chandler; the Jazz’s ORTG is 9 points lower with him off the court this season.

On the Knicks’ side of the court, I’m interested to see who Utah selects to guard Melo, who should dominate both Hayward and Lyles in the post. I expect a healthy dosage of Booker off the bench for defensive purposes. It would also be nice to see the Knicks bench use this game as an opportunity to turn things around, as Booker, Joe Ingles and Jeff Withey are not the worthiest of adversaries. On the Kristaps front, his tallest task will be keeping Booker and Favors off the offensive glass. If Lyles, who’s been starting in Gobert’s absence, is on KP to start the game, I’d love to see the Knicks feature the lanky Latvian right from the tip.

The Jazz are last in the league in the pace while the Knicks rank a seems-like-it-should-be-lower 24th – seriously, the last Knicks’ fast break bucket I remember is the Porzingspin-and-dunk against the Hawks six weeks ago. Furthermore, the Knicks are 25th in opponents’ FT/FGA while Utah is 29th, so expect some serious hacking and whacking tonight. A slow game with tons of free throws… enjoy!

Liked it? Take a second to support Jacob S. on Patreon!

101 thoughts to “2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks @ Jazz”

  1. Lopez should be a backup. Melo is worse than
    average. Calderon should play 15 minutes off the
    bench. We’re not good and need to play our young
    guys and build for the future.

  2. First 2 possessions hayward nails two 3s because melo didn’t fight through screens. And it was all downhill from there…

  3. Here’s my hot take after perhaps our worst quarter of basketball this season:

    Maybe the season will go so badly that Melo demands a trade!

  4. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Knicks won’t make the playoffs this season.

  5. I think the constant lineup changes are making it worse. Keep RoLo and KP on and other than that I don’t really care

  6. Like why is Vuj in? There is literally no universe in which he will do anything but breathe on the court.

    Clyde with the “are you kidding me” on the missed free throw LMAO

  7. Knicks will lose by like something like 7 points. Then they will lament the first quarter. It’s like a movie on replay

  8. Oh my God.
    This is massacre.
    We can be a playoff team hope we can do some changes with role players and rotations.
    We dont need a big change to make the playoffs

  9. I can’t remember anything this bad from last season. If there was , I wasn’t blessed enough to get to see it

  10. O’Quinn can’t even get play time when Fisher is in panic mode and switching up the rotation constantly.

    There is no explanation for how that happens.

  11. Its that time again…. Who’s wants to play ” he could have been a knick”

    Today it’s Gordon Hayward who drafted with the unprotected pick handed out in the Marbury trade.

  12. Melo a good volume scorer but too many “good enough” young quick defenders now… Any of them do a number on him. Hes just really bad value. Everyone already knows it.

  13. The defense the last two games has been an abomination.

    The Jazz simply drove the ball and passed it tothe open man

  14. @58 yup not moving the feet and inexplicable double teams. Still have hope that they may actually try in the second half

  15. So then, how do we trade Melo? Move him to the second unit or bench him until he agrees? Does anybody want him?

  16. Holy shit did I pick a good night to forget the Knicks were playing. Tell Fish to put in O’Quinn for me

  17. So then, how do we trade Melo

    Melo will retire as Knick at 39 with a kobeish contract.

    Calm down.

    It will be a long ride

  18. Honestly, when the entire team plays like this, it’s time to reevaluate the coach. This kind of effort was way, way worse than what McHale got.

  19. It’s less about taking out Vuj to win the game and more that there is no reason why we shouldn’t be playing our young guys at this point.

    WOW Melo. I don’t want to say you’re washed up–but you look really, really washed up.

  20. If you notice, beginning of year, Melo was taking midrange, driving, or 3 pt. Now he’s taking long 2s.

    I just don’t get it. They are not doing any of the triangles strengths, but fall into all the triangle weaknesses.

  21. This game has nothing to do with the offense. The defense is mind blowing. So as much as we want to talk about Melo being washed up, guys are walking into the paint at will. You can’t win like that.

  22. I just don’t get it. They are not doing any of the triangles strengths, but fall into all the triangle weaknesses.

    I think teams bait them into it

  23. We need to play O’Quinn DWill Gallo Grant and KP a lot more because we can’t win with the old guys.

  24. Alecto, a good mugging is what this fucking team needs. A few more wouldn’t hurt by the end of this game.

  25. Only reason I’m glad I have a huge exam tomorrow is because it prevented me from watching this game. I wonder if this team’s record would be any worse without Melo.

  26. No one on this team is playing with energy. “Hmm, let me give the only guy on this team who is known as an energy guy zero minutes”

  27. I didn’t see a single pick and roll or pick and pop while Zinger was in the game. What is the point of having a stretch 4/5 who can shoot it from deep and be the roll man if you’re not going to use him either way?
    And why is Zinger on the bench for the entire 4th?

  28. Raise your hand if you are scared that after this game, Fisher will make Vujacic a rotation player again.

  29. The best thing about this game was the pre-game article Jacob wrote.

    Nice job, Sir.

    I didn’t even watch the second half, this was a bewilderingly awful performance. Didn’t see it coming.

  30. I’m starting to lose faith in the triangle offense. You just can’t shoot as many midrange jumpers as we do and expect to be a winning team in today’s NBA. When the offense is running through the mud, I want to see a Melo/Porzinis P&R. Put Grant in the game and run pick and rolls. Anything but the triangle mid range jump shooting or the post ups; our personnel just isn’t going to be good at that.

  31. I think there is hope still for RoLo but right now he’s a square peg in a Triangular hole.

    Asking him to operate in the pinch post is asking wayyy too much of him. He’s not a playmaker, he can’t create his own shot, and he can’t drive.

    Hasn’t his success always been as a hard-nosed dirty work player? Simplifying his role to a PnR roller and garbage collector might be better.

  32. The most important thing about this loss is that it is all Jacob’s fault. He clearly jinxed them.

    Seriously, though, like Erik said, at least we got to have an enjoyable read before a very unenjoyable loss.

  33. did zinger sleep with fishers wife? thirteen minutes? admittedly i didnt watch the game..was their a reason for this?

  34. Denver is mile high….about 1/4 of a mile higher than Salt lake….
    But KP… Born and raised in Latvia where Kristaps is the highest mountaintop when standing, folowed by Seville of 7m!!! elevation, NY…
    His body is used to air pressures of sea level .He seemed totally bloodless up there in SLC. No oxygen.He Should be fine in Sacramento.

Comments are closed.