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New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards: Regular Season Game 56 Open Thread

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The Essentials:

Knicks (19-37) vs. Wizards (20-35)
7 p.m.
Verizon Center
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable Knicks numbers this season

22nd in expected winning percentage (.391)
7th in pace (93.9 possessions per game)
17th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (106.1 points/100 possessions)
T23rd in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (109.5 points allowed/100 possessions)

Pre-game links

Posting and Toasting, SB Nation's Knicks Blog
Javaris Crittenton breaks his silence after the gun incident
A New York Times article on the loony Walt Frazier
GameDay Knicks

Tonight's Projected Starters
Wizards vs. Knicks
Randy Foye PG Sergio Rodriguez
Mike Miller SG Tracy McGrady
Al Thornton SF Wilson Chandler
James Singleton PF Danilo Gallinari
Andray Blatche C

David Lee

Shaun Livingston, the newest Wizard, was doing the standard shooting drill many Wizards players do before games. The drill requires players to cut from out of bounds, fade to the baseline, and then elude assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr. as he closes out of their jump shot. On this try, though, Unseld went a little too far and slammed into Livingston as Livingston tried to drive baseline.

"I don't want to hurt him on his first day," Unseld said, which got a chuckle out of everyone.

Ironic? Sure, but the Wizards feel they can get something out of Livingston when it's all said and done. They brought him in for a workout and decided to sign him even though he hasn't played an organized, full-court game since he was released by Oklahoma City in late December.

"If he ever can get healthy again -- and he doesn't have to get 100% healthy -- he's got unbelievable basketball instincts, high IQ and can really pass the ball," Flip Saunders said.

The coaching staff has history with Livingston too. When he was coaching Minnesota last fall, assistant coach Randy Wittman brought Livingston in for training camp. Livingston was eventually cut, but that stint meant he was already on the Wizards' radar.

"Randy Wittman had him in last year in September, and seeing him from a year ago to where he is now, there's like a 100% difference in where he was," Saunders said.

At the same time, Saunders admitted Livingston hasn't played much basketball since he was released by the Thunder. As mentioned before, he hasn't done any full-court stuff (which Saunders was quick to say that "most guys [who get released] don't") and has only done individual workouts. (Saunders did make it a point to add that he hasn't gone to the YMCA because "those guys will try to make a name in one afternoon session of basketball ... and that's how you get hurt"). Saunders admitted he didn't expect to use Livingston much tonight, but he'll have to wait and see.

More notes:

  • JaVale McGee will not start tonight because he was late to shootaround this morning. As one media member said, you'd think he'd be the first guy there after getting his butt kicked by Marc Gasol on Wednesday, but he wasn't. James Singleton will start in his place.
  • Speaking of Singleton, he's wearing a splint on his left middle finger after hurting it in the closing stretches of Wednesday's game. A trainer was pegging balls at him to catch with his left hand, and he still looked like he was in a bit of pain. He'll play though.
  • Saunders said that Mike Harris will probably play more minutes tonight.
  • Funny story from Craig Stouffer of the Examiner: a Knicks trainer wandered over to the Wizards side of the court and joked to Harris "This ain't no Vipers now." The Vipers are the nickname for Rio Grande Valley of the D-League. Harris had previously told the guy, "hey, ballboy committee meeting is over there."