The Wizards are not the same one-win, hapless team that they were when they played the New York Knicks on Nov. 30 at Madison Square Garden. On that night, the Knicks exposed the Wizards defensively, winning 108-87, as Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points in three quarters and J.R. Smith also scored 20 points with a few highlight dunks and three-pointers. The loss was the worst of the season until they lost by 32 on Dec. 22 against Detroit.
John Wall has led the Wizards to a 7-7 record since he came back but they know that defending the Knicks will require finding a way to defend Anthony, the league’s second-leading scorer, and the bevy of three-point shooters.
“They got one of the best scorers in the league that can score in so many different ways, that you always have to be concerned about,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “Always comes back to bite you when you concern yourself with one guy and they surround him with so many three-pointer shooters that they have. That’s the dilemma that you get yourself into. When they are shooting it, they are the most offense in the league, I think.”
The Knicks lead the lead in three-point attempts (29.3) and rank second in three-point percentage (38.5), with six different players shooting at least 39 percent from long distance. Anthony is having the best scoring season of his career, averaging 28.5 points per game, and is in the conversation for league’s most valuable player with the Knicks (31-15) having the best record in the Eastern Conference.
“Give your best,” Nene, Anthony’s teammate for eight seasons in Denver, said about trying to defend him. “That dude, I think he among the three best player in the league and he’s getting better. He’s playing better and that’s the reason they are in a good position.”
The Wizards have lost 10 straight games to the Knicks.
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Tipoff: 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)