Utah Is Good. 3 Reasons Why Utah 108 NY 94 on 1-26-21

The Utah Jazz are good. The Knicks played good ball in this game for the first half, and led by 13 at the half. But then Utah took over in the second half to win going away.

Reasons how:

1. Utah Is Good. Very Good.

Frustrating to see NY playing good ball and looking at a win, and then to see the other team just outplay the Knicks in the 3rd and 4th quarters. But the win by Utah was its 9th straight. They are a very good basketball team.

In the 1st half, the Knicks rode out to a big lead led by Austin Rivers — who was on FIRE, hitting everything he took. Rivers finished the night 10-14 (5-7 from 3) for 25 pts.

The downfall started with Mike Conley taking Elfrid Payton to task, and continued with Knick guards Immanuel Quickley (1-11 for 6 pts) and Alec Burks (3-14, 0-7 from 3) shooting horribly.

2. Gobert Sets the Tone for Utah

Some of the Knick guards’ poor shooting was due to Utah defense — led by Rudy Gobert in the middle — who made Knick guards hesitant at the rim.

Gobert was also a tough opponent for Mitchell Robinson. Robinson admirably did not get into foul trouble (2 fouls) and scored 7 pts, 7 rebounds in 31 minutes. Gobert had 18 pts, 19 rebounds and a +27.

Gobert gives a lot of people trouble — and Mitch Robinson actually plays him a lot better than Kristaps Porzingis used to when he was a Knick. Nerlens Noel came off the bench and used his quick hand to help out — 3 steals and 2 blocks in 14 minutes.

3. Utah With Great Coach, Well of Talent

When you talk about Utah being good — it is mainly due to coach Quin Snyder, one of the best coaches in the NBA. They are perenially a well-oiled machine on offense and defense. And they have a wave of good talent they come at you with — Snyder played 13 guys in this game, vs Thibodeau’s short 8-man rotation. Power forward Royce O’Neale hurt the Knicks all night, with 7-12 (2-5 from 3) shooting for 20 pts. Jordan Clarkson — in the running for 6th Man of the Year — came off the bench for 13 points and a +1 on 5-16 shooting, 2-10 from 3. Guys like Joe Ingles and Georges Niang came off the bench to hurt the Knicks.

Barrett Played Well Again

RJ Barrett contined to play well — a 20-year-old beast getting better and better. He had 17 pts on 7-11 (3-3 from 3) shooting.

And Julius Randle did his thing despite going up against Gobert in the lane: 18 pts on 6-16 shooting (2-4 from 3, 4-4 nin free throws), 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Obi Toppin looked good in 14 minutes (2-2 for 4 pts). Kevin Knox‘s playing time continues to diminish — 8 minutes in this one.

The Boxscore


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