Tom Thibodeau has the New York Knicks believing that they are actually a good team. The Knicks will try to boost their confidence even more, as they host the Utah Jazz this Thursday. The Jazz want to get a win in the East Coast before heading to Milwaukee on Saturday.
Catch this game live on Thursday, January 7, at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: New York Knicks (4-3, 1-1 at home)
The Knicks are showing they are capable of playing sensible basketball, as they went above .500 after beating Trae Young and the Atlanta Falcons on the road last Tuesday, 113-108.
The Knicks have gone 4-1 straight up in their last five games, a stretch that includes their 130-110 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 28. The Knicks are finding their rhythm on offense. They have shot 50.6 percent from the field in their last two games.
The Duke-Kentucky duo of RJ Barrett and Julius Randle is leading the charge for the Knicks, who are also making their presence felt on the defensive end. Barrett is averaging 18.3 points this season, while Randle is putting up 22.1 points.
The Knicks have been playing some tenacious defense on the perimeter, as they are holding down their opponents to only 29.5 percent shooting from deep and just 43.3 field goal shooting percentage, No. 1 and No. 3 in the NBA, respectively.
The Knicks have covered the spread in three of their last four games away from the Big Apple.
ROAD TEAM: Utah Jazz (4-3, 3-1on the road)
The Jazz played ugly music last Wednesday, as they got decimated in a 130-96 road loss to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets didn’t have Kevin Durant, but the Jazz had no answer to Kyrie Irving, who flat out dominated Utah with 20 points.
The Jazz were paced by Donovan Mitchell, who scored 31 points on 10-of-31 shooting. Mike Conley was barely a factor for Utah, as he scored just eight points (3/10 FG).
It was just that kind of day for the Jazz, who will look to do better offensively when they take on the Knicks. The Jazz are averaging 109.7 points per game this season. Utah was ran over by the Nets on the open court, as Irving and company had 20 fastbreak points to just four by the Jazz.
That might not be much of a problem on Thursday for the Jazz, though, as the Knicks are last in the NBA with just 6.9 transition points per contest, plus Utah has Rudy Gobert to keep New York from dominating the glass.
The Jazz have won in three of their last five trips to Madison Square Garden.
The Jazz gather themselves after lackluster performance against the Nets and beat the Knicks, 114-105.