Knicks 108, Jazz 81: Game Recap

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So those streaky Knicks, who need a long winning steak to have any chance of making the playoffs, have begun streaking. It’s only two, but it has to start there, and the schedule is not a murderer’s row. The chances are slim, and the Knicks would be looking at a terrible first round matchup if they sneak into the playoffs. And given how they’ve mostly played this season, it’s still a far-off possibility. But we’ll see. Anyway, here are some thoughts on the Knicks’ dismantling of the Jazz:

- If the Knicks could just play the Jazz every night, eh? For whatever reason (No. 1 being that they’re terrible) the Knicks have had a pretty easy go of things lately against professional sports’ most hilariously-named team. Last season, the Knicks beat the Jazz at MSG 113-84 in a game that was awfully similar to last night’s, and knocked off the Jazz on the road by 13 points in The Kurt Thomas Game.

- And last night’s Knicks looked a lot like last year’s Knicks, maybe more so than any game this season. They scored 39 points in the first quarter, with 18 from Carmelo Anthony, and the team didn’t turn the ball over. And the Knicks were taking and making a lot of threes. The game was basically academic by halftime, at which point the Knicks had hit 9-of-18 from deep.

- It helps to have played a team that’s not entirely trying to win, but that first half is what optimistic folks envisioned when the Knicks put a team together with Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith. They were the team’s leading scorers at halftime–all in double digits–and the Knicks seemed to be getting offense from wherever on the floor they chose. A big part of that was the ball movement, highlighted early on by Melo.

- Melo finished with 8 assists on the night, including 5 in the first half. If this had been a close game all the way through, there was a possibility of Melo notching a triple-double. Though, the blowout allowed Mike Woodson to rest Melo (who was visibly ill), only playing him 32 minutes. There have been so many games this season where the Knicks have been on the other side of a blowout, which has given Woodson opportunities to rest Anthony. He’s rarely done it.

- Other than Jeremy Tyler, every Knick scored. That’s nice! I bet they gave Tyler some crap in the locker room after the game. Teams do those sorts of things.

- The Hawks visit the Clippers tonight, and if they lose and the Knicks win tonight, the Knicks will be five games back in the loss column for the 8th and final playoff spot (they’d be only 3.5 games back overall, but you can’t make up the losses, only the wins). The rest of the month of March, the Knicks only play three teams with winning records. The opportunity is in front of them.

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