There are only a handful of teams on the New York Knicks' schedule that they are capable of beating comfortably on a regular basis. Even though the Knicks only play the Utah Jazz twice a season, making it hard to prove that theory, one can feel confident in stating the Utah Jazz are one of those teams. Since the Jazz are members of one of the most exclusive NBA fraternities, fielding a roster worse than the Knicks, this season, it was with little surprise or fanfare that the Jazz allowed themselves to be blown out 108-81 by the Knicks on Friday night.
As is their wont when they do garner a victory this season, rare as they might be, the Knicks put on a tour de force performance that was in no way devalued by the quality of their opponent; completely dismantling any opponent, even an overmatched one, is worthy of noting.
Leading the way for the Knicks was their offense, with offensive excellence being the closest thing the New York Knicks have to a winning formula. When the offense is clicking on all cylinders, they might not always win, but they will certainly come a lot closer than they would if they shot poorly from the field and were forced to rely on their defense to carry them to a win.
Fortunately for the Knicks, their offense was at its best on Friday from the very outset of the game. By the end of the quarter, the Knicks had scored 39 points with 16 of the points coming courtesy of scorer extraordinaire Carmelo Anthony. The rim was not nearly as kind for the Utah Jazz over the opening 12 minutes of the contest as they managed just 22 points in the first quarter.
Any team facing a 17-point deficit to overcome is going to find the task a difficult one to complete, but for the offensively, and defensively, challenged Jazz, achieving what it would have taken to win the game was simply beyond their competence level. Although the Knicks' scoring efficiency also slowed down over the final three quarters, the Jazz could do no more than slightly trail the Knicks' offensive pace, getting outscored by 10 points during the rest of the contest. The first quarter barrage of the Knicks proved too much for the Jazz to handle.
Thanks to the way in which the Knicks put the game out of reach in the first quarter, they were able to coast their way to some eye-opening offensive numbers, posting a true shooting percentage of 58.1 percent and scoring 122.4 points per 100 possessions, which qualify as some of the best offensive basketball the Knicks have played this season.
Additionally, the Knicks took advantage of an offensively inept team that not even their defensive deficiencies could make look average and held the Jazz to just 91.4 points per 100 possessions, one of the best defensive efforts of the team this season.
Such complete victories have been very infrequent for the Knicks this season so one hopes that the Knicks players were able to fully savor their win over the Jazz. Sadly for the Knicks, their future schedule is not full of contests against the lowly Jazz so it is likely that Friday's win will be one of only a handful of victories the team can claim for the rest of the season.