In the final days leading up to regular season action, SCH will be posting divisional previews of the top teams in all six NBA divisions. Come back early and often for updates.
A second year player out of Florida State, Toney Douglas can put up some serious numbers. And while there is some star power on the starting lineup of the Knicks, it’ll be up to Price and the Jazz bench to hold off a Toney Davis capable of getting some serious numbers (23 against the Wizards last weekend). While Stoudemire and Wilson Chandler will be interesting to watch, it’s the bench that scares me most.
Another unlikely matchup will be the steady defensive mind of Jerry Sloan vs Mike D’Antoni’s 7-second offense. D’Antoni as been waiting for the 2010 season since he moved to the Big Apple to acquire some talent and key players and unleash. D’Antoni has a lot of pressure to have a good season and has to have a winning season this year if he wants to keep his job.
This is a year of desperation for the Knicks- they have to get results or there’s going to be several people in the crosshairs of the organization. However, the Knicks could easily emerge as the leaders of the Atlantic Division given Boston’s penchant for not really trying in the regular season could put the team in the playoffs this year. The Raptors and Sixers aren’t really competition for anyone, and we’ll just have to wait and see how the Nets do this year. A lot of big talk is coming out of New Jersey, but we have yet to see any results.
Jazz lead the all-time series 41-40 and were 2-0 against the Knicks last year. The sweep last year was the first Jazz sweep of the Knicks since the 2003-2004 season.
The Jazz and the Knicks are 2 of 3 teams that have never lost 60 games in a season, the other being the Lakers.
If the Jazz regular season continues like the preseason, the Knicks will be swept again this year. The teams don’t meet until well into January, but if the Jazz keep firing on all cylinders, it’ll be tough for any team to beat them. However, the preseason is rarely reflective on how the regular season plays out.
Traditionally, the Knicks and Jazz split home and home wins, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that result this year too. The all-time series is really close, and it’ll likely stay close this year too.