Originally written on Knickswag  |  Last updated 10/20/14
By, Kenneth Teape – Knickswag Contributor Pre-Game News and Notes Knicks vs. Jazz: ESPN, MSG 10:30PM This west coast road trip has gone as bad as a stretch of games could possible go as the Knicks have been blown out of basically every game.  They have had good stretches of play, staying in a few of the games for the most part but never being able to put together four strong quarters and running out of gas towards the end.  It is hard to say that is surprising though as any team without their three best players and key rotation players like the Knicks are currently would struggle, especially when two of those players were All-Stars this year.  Tonight the Knicks will take on the Jazz in the last game of this road trip before heading back home for a game against the Magic Wednesday night.  Will they be able to come together and end the road trip on a high note or will they get hammered again?  Here are some things to look for in the game tonight, as the Knicks are in danger of falling out of first place in the Atlantic Division if they lose and the Nets beat the Pistons tonight. -What Will the Rotation Look Like? The Knicks injury list is continuing to grow as this road trip goes on as losing games were not enough punishment for this team.  In addition to Carmelo Anthony, who finally had his knee drained, Tyson Chandler was lost on this road trip after banging knees with Corey Brewer in Denver.  With Amar’e Stoudemire already sidelined thanks to another surgery on his knee, the Knicks were dangerously thin in the front line. Well that front line became thinner after it was announced Kurt Thomas will miss the game tonight with a knee problem of his own, getting hurt last night in Los Angeles against the Clippers.  That leaves Mike Woodson with Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby as the only healthy big men on the roster to go up against Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.  It will be a long night in the paint for the Knicks as it would not be surprising to see the Jazz approach 50-plus points in the paint. This also leaves Woodson with yet another change to be made to his starting rotation.  Martin had already been added to replace Chandler, but now he will have to replace Anthony’s replacement in Thomas with another body.  With Chris Copeland drawing the start yesterday afternoon it would seem he is in line for another start, but who will replace Thomas? It is anyone’s guess as the Knicks last healthy big man is Camby, but he is not able to give productive minutes over long stretches of the game yet and he needs to backup Martin.  It will be interesting to see what direction Woodson takes it tonight. -J.R. Needs to Step Up Without Anthony and Stoudemire the onus to score falls upon the shoulders of J.R. Smith.  That is not always a bad thing, as he showed he is capable of carrying a team with his performance against the Thunder, but at the same time shows that it is too much of a burden sometimes, resulting in his performance Sunday against the Clippers when he went 4 of 20 from the field. Without many other scoring options he will have to step up tonight alongside Raymond Felton, who has been one of the only effective players on this trip for the Knicks.  Felton and Smith’s arms will be falling off after the game tonight most likely, but the Knicks need them to perform well with not many other people to turn to on the roster. -Control Tempo The Knicks will get a break of sorts tonight as the Jazz do not possess a point guard like the Knicks have faced throughout this trip (Stephen Curry in Golden State, Ty Lawson in Denver, Damian Lillard in Portland, and Chris Paul in Los Angeles).  This should give the Knicks an opportunity to control the tempo of the game at a pace they can work at. Felton as well as Jason Kidd will be responsible for this, as the only way the Knicks will be successful tonight is if they can keep the Jazz out of transition.  The Knicks are not built to play an up-tempo style of game and would prefer to play in half-court sets and take their time. The defense has been there for most of the trip for the Knicks, their defense has just fallen behind without a true go-to scorer since Anthony and Stoudemire were both sidelined.  If they can control the tempo on the defensive end and get some timely hoops they can pick up the win tonight in Utah. The post Injury Depleted Knicks in Utah to Face Jazz appeared first on Knickswag - A New York Knicks Blog - News, Rumors, and more!.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.