The New York Knicks will look to snap their two-game loosing streak that has currently dipped them under the .500 mark with a win-loss record of 10-12. Hopes stay high for New York, as the one-two punch that consists of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis continues to promote the Knicks as an exciting basketball team.
New York is traveling to the Western Conference for only the third time this season, having won their first two games in hostile territory against both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets.
The Utah Jazz have surpassed expectations this season, much like the Knicks, who are both hovering flamboyantly around an even win-loss record. Both ball clubs have shown patches of brilliance and patches of floundering throughout the season, as the Knicks and Jazz are both relatively young teams still learning to be a force in their own conferences. Now the Jazz are enjoying their seeding in the surprisingly weaker Western Conference, outside of the high flying Golden State Warriors (23-0), standing tediously as the seventh seed of the playoff picture.
While the Knicks continue to scrape up a gameplan of their own and figure out the correct balance of offense to go along with meaningful defense from their crew as a whole, staring into the playoff picture from the outside, they are currently grinding as the 12th seed in the new re-vamped Eastern Conference.
The excitement lies in the young core Utah has grown, as they have an exciting frontcourt with the shot blocking Frenchman Rudy Gobert and the versatile, explosive forward Derrick Favors.
Although Gobert is banged up, he is still managing to average 9.2 points and 10.9 rebounds to go along with a staggering 2.6 blocks per contest. These are all career-highs for the big man with his role as the anchor for this Jazz squad has molded triumphantly into a Tyson Chandler-like playmaker on a nightly basis. Favors has his level of play increase greatly this season, posting 17.5 points per game, which is a wild 6.3 points higher than his career average (11.2), per ESPN.com.
The Knicks have the exciting big man Kristaps Porzingis, who has recently battled against his mirrored comparison Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. New York found themselves in a 16-point deficit but they made a fourth quarter comeback. It was all for naught as the comeback fell short and they lost, 104-97. But Porzingis shined in the battle of the bigs, finishing with 28 points on a sizzling 13-of-18 shooting. The future Hall of Famer, Nowitzki, finished with 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Nowitzki said post game about the Latvian rookie, "The sky is the limit for this kid."
It was an exciting matchup, with Porzingis doing most of his damage in the fourth quarter. He would cut the deficit to four points, nailing back-to-back threes to erupt the Garden crowd.
The young talent these two teams have are exhilarating to watch, making strides and earning hard fought wins to be successful forces in their own divisions. The Jazz and Knicks will look to get back to their winning atmospheres on Wednesday night in Vivint Smart Home Arena.