Lauri's back and he brought with him a big ol' "W" against the Knicks

Lauri Markkanen came back with revenge on his mind, dropping the New York Knicks hard.
New York Knicks v Utah Jazz
New York Knicks v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz got back their leader, Lauri Markkanen after a nine-game layoff. The Jazz went 4-5 without their leader over a stretch that was thought to be a very easy, winnable series of games. So winnable, we thought the Jazz could get back to, if not over .500 during that same set of games. That was an idea that was possible only with Markkanen healthy, however; He wasn't, and so the Jazz dropped to 7-16 on the season without the man named the Finnisher.

Markkanen returned in a big way against the New York Knicks, dropping 23 points, on just 7 of 13 shooting, while shooting 4-8 from three. He also added eight rebounds to the contest as well that went in the Jazz's favor, 117-113. Had Collin Sexton not shot twice as many attempts in the fourth quarter as Markkanen, Markkanen would've likely had the most shots in the game for the Jazz.

Which should just be standard for your best player. Yet, Markkanen routinely takes second to the likes of Jordan Clarkson and now Sexton. Still, Markkanne's return proves once again how valuable and good he really is for the Jazz's offense. He elevated the entire offense just by being a threat from all three levels.

When you know you can't peel off Markkanen and give him an open look, only because he'll likely hit it, you change the entire course of the offense around you. Markkanen is that efficient of a shooter and a good defense like the New York Knicks couldn't really slow him down at all.

Not having to worry about Clarkson's turnovers or poor shot selections certainly helped as well. Still, the Jazz have got to stop worrying about if guys like Sexton or Talen Horton-Tucker get their touches. Sexton's an efficient scorer, sure, but only from inside the arc and Horton-Tucker should never be in the Top 7 of shot attempts for a team.

Get Markkanen more looks, and you won't have a team that nearly implodes in the fourth quarter and can, instead, finish a team off.

Utah Jazz overcome early setback to emerge victorious against New York Knicks. After a rough first quarter and a significant injury to a key player, the Jazz hung tough and played much better and pulled out the win in the end.. dark. Next