Jared Jeffries will play vs. Portland
March, 14, 2012
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- After missing four straight games with a sore right knee, which was drained twice this past week, Knicks backup center Jared Jeffries will return to the lineup Wednesday night against the Trail Blazers.
As the Knicks have continued to struggle, Jeffries has gone under the radar as a key missing piece for the team. He has the ability to maintain Tyson Chandler's strong pick-and-roll defense from the first unit and help take away second-chance opportunities from opposing teams. Monday night, the Bulls had 22 offensive rebounds (compared to the Knicks' nine), and Taj Gibson, especially, was a killer with several key putbacks in the fourth quarter.
In 28 games this season, Jeffries is averaging 4.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, but his impact on the game doesn't show up in the most popular numbers. He's the Knicks' best player at taking charges and he knows how to space the floor well to allow scorers to get their hot zones and do damage. That's evident with his +2.2 plus-minus per 48 minutes -- the third-highest on the team.
You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.