Tonight, the much improved Washington Wizards are taking on the resurgent New York Knicks. At first glance, this looks like an easy game for the Knicks but this version of the Wizards can surprise when they decide to play the game the right way. After beating a depleted Los Angeles Clippers squad on Monday, the Wizards are aiming for two wins in a row.
In order to beat the Knicks tonight the Wizards are going to have to continue playing the way they did against the Clippers. On Monday night they shared the ball, played team defense and limited their turnovers. John Wall, while providing a missing spark and energy since his return has also shown that he is still rusty after not playing for the first 33 games of the season.
He has to take the lead in limiting turnovers against a very dangerous Knicks team. Wall must also be sure to get players involved in the game offensively early as he did on Monday night. Sometimes your best defense is a good offense and forcing the Knicks to actually have to guard on the other end is always a good thing.
The Wizards must play sound defense as well tonight. Carmelo Anthony will get his no matter who you have guarding him so the focus should be on limiting other players. Time and time again the Wizards have shown a penchant for allowing role players to have big games against them and the Knicks have a few special ones. Helping off of Steve Novak should cause for an automatic benching. Allowing Iman Shumpert to drive to the basket at will and not forcing him to shoot his less than reliable jumper should also mean an automatic hook.
Unfortunately, the Wizards are a team that has to do almost everything right to pull out victories and tonight will be no different. They have shown on their best days they can compete with the top teams in the league, but those games are few and far in between. Tonight they have a chance to really show this since the last time they faced off against the Knicks.