Utah Jazz at New York Knicks: Keys to breaking the road curse

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 13: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 13: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz will look to earn their first road win of the season as they visit the New York Knicks, but they’ll be in for a tough challenge against some solid opposing big men.

It’s been a turbulent few days for Utah Jazz fans, to say the least. After dropping four straight games in largely embarrassing fashion, the Jazz showed some promise in their win over a less than stirring Brooklyn Nets team. However, Rudy Gobert sat out that game and it was later announced that he would miss the next four to six weeks with a bone bruise in his knee.

Then the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves happened where the Jazz were slapped around and easily defeated by a score of 109-98 which doesn’t do justice to the beat-down they actually received. The dismal showing on Utah’s home court which dropped them to 6-8 on the year and caused them to be losers of five of their last six contests was a frightening alarm that this team is very much in trouble without Rudy Gobert, with a daunting December schedule ahead and with next to no offense.

So such is the stage that has been set as the Jazz prepare to head out on a four-game road trip that begins on Wednesday against the New York Knicks. This game should present plenty of challenges for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s a road contest, the likes of which haven’t been kind to the Jazz this season as they sit at 0-4 away from Vivint Smart Home Arena. They just so happen to be the ONLY team in the league without a road win. Yikes.


Not only that, but this isn’t the Knicks team of the last few years. No, Carmelo “Cancer” Anthony is gone as is Phil Jackson and this young and plucky New York team seems primed to surprise some people this year. They’re currently 7-6 on the season after falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers by the narrowest of margins on Monday. However, they defeated the Cavs earlier in the year and have posted several other solid victories in which they’ve looked like a legitimate up-and-comer.

That’s been due largely to the play of Kristaps Porzingis (more on him here shortly) who has shouldered an enormous load for the Knicks and will be an extreme challenge for the Jazz without Rudy Gobert in the middle to keep him at bay.

With all that adding up, the Jazz will be hard-pressed to earn their first road win on Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden. But if they are to do so, achieving success in these three key areas will be absolutely vital.