Wizards 1-7 vs Knicks 3-6
When: Sunday, November 4, at 6p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBC Sports Washington/ MSG Network / Radio: 1500 AM, ESPN NY 98.7
Knicks: Kristaps Porzingis (Out, Knee), Courtney Lee (Out, Neck), Kevin Knox (Out, Ankle)
111.8 - points per game
123.9 - points against
44.3 - Field goal %
107.3 - points per game
109.8 - points against
44.3 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
John Wall: As the franchise leader, Wall has to step up and play a better brand of basketball on both ends. Offensively he hasn’t shot well all season, he’s pressing, and he’s turning the ball over at a rate that makes it hard for the Wizards to overcome. Add in the lack of discipline defending on ball and it’s hard to see why the results has been what it’s been. While he’s finishing well at the rim and playing well in help side defense, he’s struggling in nearly every other area. From deep and the free throw line, Wall is shooting 24 and 70 percent, both of which is the worst of his career. He’s also averaging a career worst 3.1 rebounds, 7.4 assist and 4.3 turnovers per game. Over Washington’s last two games, Wall is averaging 8 turnovers. DC’s Point God is a way better player then what he’s showing and for things to turn around he will have to turn things around individually first, and it starts with playing a more efficient brand of basketball on both ends. He begins to do that, everyone else will fall in place and do the same.
Defense: It has to become personal for everyone who takes the floor. Up to this point in the season, it’s been absolutely embarrassing. Washington allows a NBA worst 123.9 points a game, giving up 134 or more points in three of their eight games played. Adding insult to injury, Washington also allows a league worst 13 three pointers a game while turning the ball over 15 times per outing. Oh and the Wizards average 39.9 rebounds a game which is 29th in the NBA. Against a feisty young Knicks team, Washington’s competitive nature will be put to the test and it’s up to them to answer the challenge.
Contain New York’s Perimeter Attack: They may not get much pub outside of New York right now but they are a problem to deal with. Knicks three guard line-up of Tim Hardaway Jr, Damyean Dotson and undrafted rookie sensation Allonzo Trier is as deadly as they are underrated. It starts with Hardaway, who is having the best season of his career, averaging a career high 25.1 points on 42 percent shooting from the field, 40 percent shooting from deep and 90% shooting from the line. He’s fearless and isn’t afraid to take the big shot. Next is Damyean Dotson, a 6’6 second year guard who has improved tremendously under new coach David Fizdale. Dotson improved his scoring from 4.1 points during his rookie year to 12.9 this season, while shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep. He’s a tough, physical guard who loves to mix it up, which you can see with his 6.1 rebounds average. Last but not least is Allonzo Trier aka Iso Zo, a nickname he isn’t called for nothing. Even as a rookie, Trier may be the most explosive scorer on the Knicks roster. Trier is averaging 10.8 points (8th among all rookies) on a ridiculously efficient 53 percent (first among rookie guards) from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range and 88 percent from the line in 21 minutes of action. He’s always been a lethal natural scorer and under Fizdale, he’s learning when to do so while expanding other parts of his game, particularly on defense. Washington will have to keep these guys in check if they have any hopes of winning.