One team plays for a city with a population of 8.3 million people. The other team’s city is home to just 189,000. One team has a payroll of $87 million. The other spent just $56 million.One team has an average age of 27.8. The other team’s average player is just 25 years old.
One team is the New York Knicks, who have 22 wins. The other is the Utah Jazz, who have 21.
Despite the differences between these two franchises, and there are plenty, the Knicks and Jazz both find themselves near the bottom of their respective conference’s standings. New York is looking to build on their convincing win over the Timberwolves or Wednesday night, in hopes of making a last-ditch effort to sneak into the playoffs, while Utah is looking to build anything at all, but more so for the future. I guess the same can be said for the Knicks, who have an eye on a 2015 rebuild.
The Jazz are led by their youthful frontcourt of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, but they’ll probably have to go small to match the versatility of Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony. Rookie point guard Trey Burke has been impressive after missing a decent chunk of the beginning of the season, but he averages only 12.5 points with 5.4 assists, and has been rather inconsistent, as most rookies are when they miss most of the preseason. Some extremely random players have been killing the Knicks this year, so guys like Marvin Williams and Alec Burks are candidates to get hot.
It’s crunch time for the New York, who currently sits five and a half games out of the eight-seed in the East. It may be impossible for the Knicks to get there, but we’ll never find out just how difficult it is if they don’t string together any victories. It’s hard to call any game winnable when your record is just is just 22-40, but eight out of their next ten opponnents have a record below .500, so if there were ever an opportunity for them to succeed, this is it. In the long run, this upcoming stretch could be the last hurrah for guys like Mike Woodson, Raymond Felton, and possibly even Melo.
Tip-off is at 7:30pm. As always, TOK will have you covered.