Here are the three keys for the Knicks against the Utah Jazz...
- Contesting the 3-Point Line- Like the Rockets, the Jazz have focused much of their offensive strategy on the three point line. So far this year they are sixth in the NBA in 3-pointers made and are third in 3-point field goal percentage at 39 percent. This will be boosted by the return of Gordon Hayward to the lineup as Hayward was second to Rodney Hood on the Jazz in 3-point attempts last year at 5.1.
- Run the Offense Through Joakim Noah- I've said this a bunch lately, but, especially early in the game, the Knicks offense flows so much better when Noah gets touches in the possession early in the shot clock. When the Knicks are scoring in 5-on-5 situations it allows them to play with more energy on the defensive end and it creates transition opportunities like it did against the Grizzlies and the other night against the Bulls. Noah connects Derrick Rose with Carmelo Anthony, and it allows for Kristaps Porzingis to feed off the defensive reaction created by both.
- More Production from Second Unit- The Knicks need support from their second unit in the form of offense especially from Lance Thomas, who will be in the lineup. Thomas is averaging just 1.5 field goals made per game through the first four games, which is exactly half of the production he had last year. He's also shooting just 35 percent from the floor. It is imperative that Brandon Jennings get Thomas involved in the same manner that Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant did on the second unit last year. Both combined to assist on 38 of his 169 field goals made last year. This year Jennings has assisted on three of Thomas' six makes through four games.