SPORTS

Knicks Without Randle, But Dangerous on Glass

Jan 8, 2020, 4:54 PM
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: Damyean Dotson #21 of the New York Knicks drives past De'Andre Hu...
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: Damyean Dotson #21 of the New York Knicks drives past De'Andre Hunter #12 of the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of their game at Madison Square Garden on December 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz are preparing to take on the 10-27 New York Knicks. The Knicks are tied for the second-worst record in the NBA, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and just ahead of the 8-29 Atlanta Hawks. 

The Knicks are 5-15 on the road and have lost three straight on their four-game road trip. 

Worse yet for the Knicks, they’ll be playing without their second-leading scorer Julius Randle, who didn’t leave travel with the team due to personal reasons. 

Last year, Randle torched the Jazz in Salt Lake City as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, when he scored 30 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists. Randle was a part of the Knicks offseason contingency plan after missing out on superstar free agents Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, and Jimmy Butler. 

Instead, the Knicks signed a series of frontcourt players and the results have been unimpressive. 

Bobby Portis, one of the Knicks offseason additions came to Utah with a lighter wallet. Portis accidentally hit Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the head while swinging for the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night, and was fined $25,000. 

Despite the Knicks recent struggles, they’ve found their footing on the defensive end of the ball, at least they had before the Knicks 30 point loss to the Lakers. 

Over the five games entering the loss to LA, the Knicks had held their opponents to an offensive rank of just 103.1. That would rank second-best in the NBA for the entire season. The Knicks are 3-3 over their last six games. 

One area of concern for the Jazz before hosting New York is the Knicks effort on the offensive glass. The Knicks lead the league in offensive rebounds per game with 12. At times this season, the Jazz have struggled to keep teams off the offensive glass, allowing even mediocre offensive teams an opportunity to stay in games. 

The Knicks are the 27th ranked offensive team and the 25th ranked defensive team entering the night against the Jazz.

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