The Jazz made an effort to really get the win and it showed at Madison Square Garden in front of a testy Knicks crowd. They were mad about celebrity Knicks fan, Spike Lee, being told off by security for going through the employee entrance like he always has. Fans tonight were actually ejected for chanting for owner James Dolan to sell the team.
The Jazz won by eight points in a game that wasn’t that close until the benches were cleared. The Jazz have continued to excel in the three keys to this road trip that we have previously mentioned.
1. Move the ball: While the Jazz didn’t have as many assists as their terrific 30 assist night in Cleveland two days prior, 26 is nothing to scoff at. In the previous 4 game losing streak at home, the Jazz averaged just under 19 assists per game. You can tell from this play that the Jazz really focused on getting their ball movement back vs a bad defensive team.
2. Defend as a team: The Jazz allowed 104 points to the Knicks. That is pretty good. The Knicks are a bad team but they have the potential to really score on teams sometimes. They recently dropped 125 points on the Rockets in a two point upset win.
The Jazz allow the third least points in the Western Conference behind the Lakers and Nuggets. They scored very close to their 111.5 season average as they had 112 points. The defense, which normally allows 108 points per game, allowed 4 points less than that. Also, the Knicks scored 10 points in the final 2 minutes once the benches were cleared.
3. Be in attack mode all night: The Jazz looked good against the Knicks all night. It is a game of runs and although the Knicks had some mini-runs, they weren’t enough to out score the Jazz in the first three quarters. The Knicks scored more in the fourth quarter only because the result was basically decided and benches were cleared early. The Jazz will still need to play even better against a much tougher opponent in the Celtics on Friday.
The first two games on the East Coast have been great but Boston and even Detroit on the second night of a back-to-back will be challenging. The Jazz better come ready to finish this trip on the right note.
Other noteworthy numbers: Donovan and Bojan both put up 23 points. On the defensive end Donovan kept rookie RJ Barrett in check by holding the normally high scorer to just 14 points. Rudy had a double double with 18 points and 14 boards. The Jazz shot a low percentage from three but again had so many open shots that they eventually made 10 of them. Nobody on the Jazz bench had double figures but the starters saw a lot of minutes together tonight. Mike Conley chipped in 17 points and was more efficient than most on the night. He made 6 field goals on 9 shots and two of them were threes.
Next up: Jazz @ Celtics
Date: Friday, March 6, 2020
Time: 6 PM Mountain Time