New York Knicks: Who Stepped Up Against The Utah Jazz?

The New York Knicks returned to Madison Square Garden on Sunday, November 6 to battle the Utah Jazz. Find out who stepped up for New York’s favorite team.


Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) dribbles the ball against Utah Jazz point guard George Hill (3) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Utah won 114-109. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks hosted the Utah Jazz on Sunday, November 6 in the third home game of the 2016-17 NBA regular season. It was a tough test for New York, which continued its stretch of outings against postseason-caliber opponents.

With Hayward back in the lineup and the Jazz already off to a strong start to the season, a number of Knicks players stepped up in hopes of providing victory.

New York lost to the Utah Jazz by a score of 114-109. It was a disappointing showing by New York, which led by double-digits and even held a slight lead entering the fourth quarter before suffering a collapse.

There weren’t many players who stepped up to help the Knicks, but those who did offered reason to be respected and praised.

With Jeff Hornacek coaching against the team he made two NBA Finals appearances with, a select few players stepped up to help him overcome this experience. Some were tremendous as scorers, while others the little things that don’t often generate hype or attention.

The question is: which players stepped up for the New York Knicks during the third home game of the 2016-17 NBA regular season?

Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots the ball against the Utah Jazz during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony

New York Knicks fans let Carmelo Anthony know how they feel about the over-dribbling that he’s been doing in 2016-17. Boos reigned down when he began to do so, which seemed to motivate Anthony to make shots.

The Knicks need Anthony to do a better job of keeping the ball moving instead of stopping it and going ISO, but Jeff Hornacek is putting him in positions to succeed.

Anthony recorded 28 points, eight rebounds, and three assists in 35 productive minutes against the Utah Jazz. He shot 12-of-20 from the field, 0-of-6 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-6 from the free throw line.

Anthony finished with a +/- of +6 in this five-point loss, which is a testament to how valuable he was to the Knicks against Utah.

Anthony’s defense and ball-stopping hurt New York, but he was one of the few reliable threats on offense. He scored a season-high 28 points by doing a bit of everything as a scorer, but the Knicks need more defense than they do offense.

Anthony isn’t the player to blame for this loss by any stretch of the imagination, but he should make it a point to be better against the drive on defense.

Nov 1, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) talks with forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Courtney Lee

Throughout his previous eight seasons in the NBA, Courtney Lee was one of the most quietly clutch players in the NBA. He didn’t post gaudy statistics, but he always seemed to find the ball at the end of a game or shot clock.

Though his efforts weren’t enough to help the New York Knicks achieve victory, Lee hit a number of big shots that helped save his team from a blowout.

Lee finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and three steals in 36 understated minutes against the Utah Jazz. He recorded a +/- of +4 and shot 3-of-8 from the field, 2-of-2 from beyond the 3-point line, and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe.

Both of Lee’s 3-point field goals were made when New York needed stability, and he was one of the few players to exert an ideal level of energy on defense.

The Knicks need the rest of the team to step up on defense, but Lee isn’t letting his surroundings dictate his effort. He’s playing an invaluable offensive role and working his hardest to defend multiple positions.

The sooner those around him step up on defense, the sooner Lee’s well-rounded game will help the Knicks achieve victory.

Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots the ball as Utah Jazz point guard George Hill (3) defends during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis made a grand total of zero field goals during the New York Knicks’ previous home game. He clearly took that to heart, as he went off for 14 points in the first quarter alone against the Utah Jazz.

Porzingis still needs to do a better job of avoiding foul trouble when defending stronger players, but his offensive game is coming along at a star-caliber rate.

Porzingis finished with 28 points, eight rebounds, one assist, and two blocks in 33 minutes of play during the Knicks’ 114-109 loss. He shot 10-of-18 from the field, 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe

Porzingis is now up to 13 3-point field goals through six games, which puts him on pace for roughly 178 3-point field goals made if he were to play in all 82 games.

Porzingis needs to do a better job of utilizing his size as an advantage. He posted up George Hill and almost got muscled out of the post, but recovered well over the course of the remainder of the game.

Nevertheless, the progress being displayed this early in his career is one of the primary reasons Phil Jackson has remaining supporters in New York.

Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose (25) looks to pass the ball as Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) defends during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Rose

The New York Knicks are beginning to get a sense of what can be expected of starting point guard Derrick Rose. His health remains a question mark and his jump shot is rather inconsistent, but Rose overcame a slow start to put forth an intriguing performance.

After recording 15 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds against the Chicago Bulls, Rose again established himself as a facilitator against the Utah Jazz.

Rose finished with 18 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and a steal in 36 minutes of action against Utah. He committed four turnovers, but doubled that number up with his assists and shot 7-of-14 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

It was far from a perfect performance by Rose, but once again, it was he who stepped up for the Knicks in the fourth quarter.

Rose scored 11 of his 18 points during the fourth quarter of a five-point loss. He started slow, but was aggressive and efficient when the Knicks’ offense began to stall and its stars stopped trusting their teammates to create shots.

No matter what his statistics look like the rest of the way, it’s clear that Rose is capable of facilitating the offense and taking over as a scorer in the fourth.

This could be a far better season for Rose than most have come to expect it to be.

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