Nick Bilka wrote last Tuesday that the Wizards must avoid continuing their trend of slow starts. Fortunately, they are currently 2-1, after two consecutive wins against the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks over the past week. Tonight, they will play the New York Knicks on the road and will try to extend their winning streak to three.
When is the game? 7:30 p.m.
Where can I watch it or listen on the radio? The game is on Comcast SportsNet Plus (lame). You can listen to it on WNEW 99.1 FM or Federal News Radio 1500 AM.
Who is out for the game? Bradley Beal and Martell Webster are out for the Wizards. Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon will be out for New York. Quincy Acy has a wrist injury, but should be able to play.
How good are the Knicks? Despite the fact that they were considered to be a borderline playoff team, New York enters this game with an identical 2-1 record. They also happen to come off two consecutive wins against the Cavaliers and Hornets, who are expected to make the playoffs. They have Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith who alone will make this team interesting to watch on offense. However, the Knicks are also in the bottom third in both offensive and defensive efficiency despite their record.
What will be key for the Wizards to win this game? The Wizards' defense last season was second in the NBA for turnover percentage, which was one of the main reasons why they had a Top-10 defense in the league. Washington remains one of the best team in TOV% this season so far, and the Knicks are still getting used to playing the triangle offense under new head coach Derek Fisher even though they used it effectively to beat Cleveland.
If the Wizards can get things going early and force the Knicks out of a comfort zone early (John Wall, Otto Porter and Nene average two or more steals a game in the young season), it could help them get that key third win.
Who wins? Washington will win a close game before facing the Pacers on Wednesday.