The New York Knicks have a great opportunity tonight to win their second game in a row, as they host the struggling Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Home hasn’t been friendly to the 2013 Knicks but if there is a time to begin reversing that trend, it should be right now. New York is currently at 7-16, with a dismal 4-8 home record overall while Washington is now down to 9-13 and only 3-8 on the road.
The Wizards are expected to be without both Nene and Bradley Beal, arguably their 2nd and 3rd best overall players. They’ve struggled lately without both, losing four straight, including an ugly 16 point loss to the Clippers two nights ago. The Knicks are coming off a 111-106 home victory over the Hawks on the same day, when they finally were able to generate some rhythm on offense despite their ongoing struggles on defense.
Despite being down Beal and Nene, John Wall is going to give the Knicks issues. He gashed them for 31 points and 7 assists back on November 23rd in Washington, when the Wizards knocked off the Knicks off 98-89. Ray Felton remains out and on the trading block, which means more minutes for Pablo Prigioni and Beno Udrih.
Prigioni was +17 the other night and finished with 11 points and 6 assists, while Udrih chipped in 10 points in 18 minutes. Look for Tim Hardaway Jr to continue to receive extended minutes as well. The rookie logged 27 on Saturday night, finished with 13 points on 5-10 shooting.
With how the schedule is set up, the Knicks need to get this game to build some momentum. They travel to play arguably the worst team in basketball on Wednesday night, Milwaukee and then get the struggling Grizzlies and Magic before their Christmas showdown with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It sounds insane with how bad this team has been but could they build a five game winning streak heading into that game?
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