Knicks-Wizards: What to Watch For

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Last season the Knicks went 3-0 against the Washington Wizards. Tonight, the struggling Knicks will look to keep that trend going against the winless Washington Wizards.

Here are some things to watch for:

  • The Knicks transition defense must be good tonight. With John Wall, one of the most athletic point guards in the NBA, the Wizards will look to pick up some transition baskets tonight against the Knicks notoriously bad transition defense. The Knicks must limit transition baskets against an athletic Washington team if they want to handle the Wizards tonight.
  • Melo and Amar’e must be efficient tonight. The Wizards are not a strong defensive team and should not have the ability to slow down the Knicks stars. That being said, New York must get some ball movement and get Fields, Shumpert and Douglas going early in the game. Stoudemire and Anthony will need to get others involved and not play inefficiently tonight. Tonight shouldn’t be a night where Melo will be forced to shoot 30 times. This game is a great opportunity to get the offense going by involving everybody and collectively making shots.
  • D’Antoni’s Bench. Last game against Charlotte, coach Mike D’Antoni played a short 4 man bench (Jorts got 3 minutes so basically a 3 man bench). In this shortened, compressed season D’Antoni has to be careful with the minutes his stars play. Stoudemire and Chandler have had injury problems in the past and playing them each 40 minutes against bad teams is not a way to remedy that.
  • Fields/Shumpert. If Iman Shumpert shines again while Landry Fields falters, Knick fans will again be calling for Shumpert to replace Fields in the starting lineup. Hopefully Fields will begin to play better because I really believe Shumpert should be coming off the bench. His scoring ability is great to have off a bench that seemingly has nobody who can score with any consistency. I look for Shumpert to play about 25 minutes tonight coming off the bench.
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