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Game Preview: Knicks @ Jazz, 1/8/2020

Baby Portis needs to grow up.

Is Bobby Portis off the team yet? He may have just poured the last bit of Quikrete over his spot on the roster. His defense already looked like that. Oh hey, you want out because you think it’s time to join a playoff contender or make a meaningful contribution to a good team? Well, you’re not especially good, and this loose cannon-ism doesn’t help your cause. In the beginning of the year he had a fake tussle with the Nets over a jump ball. A few weeks ago the same issue with the Wizards long after the play had been blown dead. Now he tried to take Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s head clean off. This aggression will not stand, man.

For much of this season I have spent a good portion of my Knicks-energy totally blown away by how much I despise Julius Randle’s self-centered brand of basketball. Since Mike Miller took over, Randle has made me question my initial hatred. So much so that I’m even debating calling him “Juju.” I mean, a pet name? It’s as if I’ve enjoyed his presence of late. Now I see Portis wedge his way onto the block and my blood pressure spikes harder than he bricks his touchless righty hooks off all angles of the rim. Whatever for that guy. He’s the lox and cream cheese on cinnamon toast of this deli. Get him outta here.

For what it’s worth, the Jazz (24-12) are fifth in the Western Conference. They’ve won six in a row (hey, just like the Lakers!) and they represent the final stop on what has been a hurtful road trip so far. The Knicks (10-27) will try to come home with at least one souvenir and not just a collection of painful memories.

Projected Starters

Utah will be without Mike Conley tonight and for the next stretch of weeks with his hams all strung out. For New York, hopefully Marcus Morris’ neck injury wasn’t too serious and he sat in last night’s game so the Knicks could take a sharper knife to the closer battle. Look up the sleeve, it’s a trick!*

Personally I think he wants to force me to watch Portis because I just hated on him so hard. Thing is, Portis should be suspended for his bush league attack on KCP.

Oh. Actually it sounds like maybe something truly personal. Hopefully all it is, is that Bobby Portis is being waived so that the Knicks can bring Kenny Wooten to Manhattan. And like... Julius is Bobby Portis’ biggest fan or whatever.

WHAT. THE COMPLETE FUCK. Did I just see. Wooten? More like Woo-twenty.

Keys & Predictions

The Jazz have been been hammering on teams of late. Including the Rudy Gobert Rockslide™ the New Orleans Pelicans caught at the buzzer on Monday.

Turns out, after review, the league did not agree with the no call that was held up after review! Nevertheless the Knicks are squaring up with a handsy, pushy bunch. I hope they test Bobby Portis. I’d love to see him get tossed in back-to-back games. So yeah, if the Knicks are lucky, this one will come down to the last two minutes. The Jazz, despite having the world’s best draft pick, Donovan Mitchell, are not that great at putting the ball in the hole. Luckily for them, they get stops! Sixth-ranked defense with smart helpers and bad defenders who are just scared to death by the cocaine-constricted head veins of Quin Snyder’s wrath.

The Knicks are in the second game of a back to back at the end of a four-game road trip. The Jazz have been sitting at home waiting for them at the door with a smile and a knife. They may invite New York in. They might fetch New York a drink. Ultimately they’ll ask the Knicks to jam with them, only to smash their fingers in the piano.

Knicks by -9.

Warm Up Music

Whatever is going on out there, basketball has always been an escape for me. So has music. These days I struggle to feel connected, and I’m sure many of you do too.

*Load management slips out and drops a haymaker.