Knicks vs. Wizards Gameday

Scouting Report

Jonah Ballow


Knicks vs. Wizards 7:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM

Big Picture

New York: The past three games for the Knicks have been exhilarating as the squad has managed to defeat Chicago in overtime last Sunday and escape Milwaukee with a monumental win on Wednesday. New York improved to 30-28 on the season, gained a two-game advantage over the Bucks, and now the squad only trails Philadelphia for the seventh spot by one game. On Thursday night, Miami suffered an overtime defeat to Chicago, which just about guarantees either a Knicks – Bulls or Knicks – Heat first round matchup in the first round of the postseason. New York will play its next three games at home before hitting the road for a three-game trip.

Washington: At 14-44, the Wizards are winding down the season and looking ahead to the lottery. Washington is banged up heading into the final eight games of the season with injuries to Rashard Lewis, Andray Blatche, Nene, and Trevor Booker. Nene and Booker are day-to-day after missing the previous contest against Orlando. Despite the dismal record, the Wizards own talent on their roster behind 2010 No. 1 overall pick John Wall, and 2011 draft picks Chris Singleton and Jan Vessely. Washington’s eight final games of the season are a mix of bottom feeders and top playoff contenders as it will face the Knicks today, Chicago, and Miami twice to conclude the 2011-12 campaign.

Last Time Out
New York: On Wednesday, the Knicks battled down the stretch and captured a moral boosting 111-107 victory over the Bucks in Milwaukeee.

Washington: In a surprising 93-85 victory, the Wizards received 24 points and 13 rebounds from Kevin Seraphin on Tuesday night.

The Numbers Game
Carmelo Anthony remains red-hot in the month of April by averaging 32.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while shooting 51.2 percent from the floor in 39 minutes of action.

Match-up to Watch
Baron Davis vs. John Wall

In the two meetings against New York, Wall is averaging 25.5 points and 7.5 assists. Interesting enough, the lighting quick point guard has battled a different Knicks point guard in each match up. After squaring off against Toney Douglas in early January and Linsanity the following month, Wall will face Baron Davis tonight at MSG. The amount of court time for Davis is uncertain at this point as he deals with a variety of injuries, including a strained neck that he suffered on Wednesday night. Expect Iman Shumpert and JR Smith to shift over to the point guard spot on the defensive side of the floor throughout the contest to halt Wall’s explosive opportunities inside the paint.

What to Look For
This matchup clearly falls into the category of a trap game, considering the Knicks are fresh off a gigantic victory in Milwaukee and they will host the hated Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon at the Garden. New York can’t afford to take its foot off the pedal despite the new cushion created between the eight and nine spots in the Eastern Conference standings. The best case scenario is for the hometown squad to jump out to a sizeable lead and provide some much needed rest for the starters heading into a crucial two-game stretch against Miami and Boston in the next five days.

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