This Friday, the NBA late game of the night is underwhelming to say the least. That is because both teams in this contest are extremely unlikely to make the playoffs this season. These teams are the Utah Jazz and the New York Knicks. The Jazz entered the season with the hopes of returning to the playoffs after making it to the second round last season before getting swept by the Warriors. However, the Jazz have struggled this season and are currently tenth in the Western Conference. Their opponents for this contest, the New York Knicks, have not fared much better. The Knicks are also out of the playoff picture at this point of the season and are tenth in the Eastern Conference standings. However, these teams are relatively even which should make this game extremely competitive.
The Utah Jazz’s struggles are primarily due to injuries and a lack of offensive production. Last season, the Jazz were led by star forward Gordon Hayward who averaged 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. However, Hayward was a free agent after the season and decided to take his talents to Boston instead. As a small market team, Utah was unable to fill the void and was forced to rely on star center Rudy Gobert to carry the team back to the playoffs this season. However, Gobert has missed more than half of the team’s games this season due to injuries. When he is on the court, Gobert is a force on the boards and on the defensive end. This season, Gobert is averaging 11.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game along with 2.3 blocks. According to Utah’s coach Quinn Snyder, Gobert will return tonight. However, he will have a minute restriction. If Utah plans on winning this contest, Gobert will need to dominate in the paint in the limited minutes that he plays.
New York’s struggles are primarily due to its lack of depth. Entering the season, the Knicks were expected by many to potentially sneak into the playoffs due to the talent of star forward Kristaps Porzingis. This season, Porzingis has been phenomenal and looks like a superstar in the making. Specifically, Porzingis is averaging over 23 points and six rebounds per game along with 2.4 blocks. However, the team’s bench has been unable to generate enough offense when Porzingis is not on the court. Statistically, the Knicks rank 17th in the league in bench points per game which has led to several losses when the team’s starters have gotten into foul trouble. If the Knicks plan on winning this game, Porzingis will have to stay out of foul trouble.
As for my prediction, I have to side with the Jazz. Although the Jazz are currently 18-26, the team is surprisingly 13-8 at home. The Jazz have one of the best home courts in the NBA and I expect it to be rocking on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Knicks are 5-16 on the road this season and now have to travel to a very hostile environment for this game. I expect Gobert to provide valuable minutes in his first game back from injury as he leads the Jazz to a victory.
Jazz vs. Knicks: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Utah Jazz vs. New York Knicks
Date: Friday, January 19, 2018
Start Time: 10:30 P.M. EST
Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT
How to Watch Jazz vs. Knicks On Your Tablet Or Mobile Device
You can live stream the game on the WatchESPN app.
How To Live Stream Jazz vs. Knicks Online Without Cable Subscription
You can also live stream the game through Sling TV free trial. Just click on the Sling website and click “Watch Now 7 Days Free” for the free trial. Choose the Sling Orange package, which costs $20 per month and comes with ESPN, along with many other sports channels.