Who says New Yorkers are rude? If anything, they are a rather polite bunch, and Knicks fans were more than helpful to the Wizards in the second half of one of the worst offensive performances in franchise history.
As the Wizards slogged through a frightening 103-65 loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, fans started chanting the score when the Wizards were stuck on 45 for more than six minutes. Every time the Wizards brought the ball up the court, they heard the chant, then committed a turnover or missed another shot to keep it going.
“How many times you seen that?” Jordan Crawford asked, rhetorically. “If I was a fan, I’d do the same thing.”
The fans booed whenever the Wizards forced them to change the chants, but the reminders kept coming, especially as the Wizards went more 12 minutes without a field goal in the second half.
You could call the fans cruel, but they were actually quite helpful in giving the Wizards constant updates to inadvertently aid them as they avoided setting a new record for the lowing scoring output in franchise history — by one point. The 65-point effort matched the second-worst output set at New Jersey on Dec. 13, 2002.
The low of 64 was set on Jan. 11 in Chicago.
Unfortunately, the fans didn’t chant the Wizards’ number of field goals, because the team actually left Madison Square Garden making just 22 — a new franchise low (the previous record was 23, set four times, most recently against the Detroit Pistons on April 11, 2008).
Conversely, the franchise record for most field goals made by an individual in a game is 22, which is shared by Walt Bellamy and Phil Chenier, who was calling Friday night’s debacle for Comcast SportsNet.
“It’s embarrassing,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “That’s what it was, uncharacteristic of what we have been doing.”
John Wall debuted some gold signature Reebok shoes, but he probably won’t wear them again after he missed 10 of his 12 attempts. Crawford missed 14 of his 20 attempts. The usually efficient Kevin Seraphin was just 6 for 15 from the field. Starters Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely, who combined to go 0-for-7 from the field and score zero points.
Shelvin Mack was the only Wizard on the roster to shoot better than 40 percent from the floor, as he made 3 of 5 shots and finished with eight points. “You’re going to have nights like this, just continue to play. The game is about toughness. And they were the toughest team,” Mack said. “It’s tough, coming off two wins a row. Especially coming into Madison Square Garden. You didn’t want to go out like that.”
The Wizards suffered their most lopsided defeat of the season and trailed by 43 with two minutes remaining, as Knicks players were firing shots from all over the court without fear of retribution. Three-pointer after three-pointer, laugh after laugh, chest-bump after chest-bump, the Wizards only responded with brick after brick.
It was a forgettable performance that the Wizards will attempt to move on from quickly, since they will host Cleveland on Saturday at Verizon Center.
“This all caught me by surprise. I’m still in shock,” James Singleton said. “That’s the most I ever lost by. Sometimes, it takes getting your head beat in like this to go beat somebody else’s head in.”
But the Wizards continue to struggle in New York, where they have lost eight consecutive games, tying the Indiana Pacers for the longest road futility mark for an Eastern Conference opponent. They won’t go back to New York this season and they don’t want to go back to playing many more games like that. It was just the second time all season they’ve lost by more than 30 points.
“The biggest thing is our effort,” Roger Mason Jr. said. “You’re going to have nights when you miss shots. You’re going to have nights when the other team misses shots. But early on, that wasn’t the case. We were lethargic. We had no energy and we let them get whatever they wanted on the offensive end.”