The Wizards seek to put an embarrassing 109-102 loss to the 76ers in their rearview mirror as they host the Knicks Thursday night. The Knicks, fresh off of a 105-102 victory over the Pistons will look to ride the hot shooting of Kristaps Porzingis to another victory.
The Wizards beat Knicks in two out of their three matchups last season but the Knicks overhauled their roster in the offseason. The matchup between Derrick Rose vs. John Wall will be back on display as Rose signed with the Knicks over the summer. Both Otto Porter and Markieff Morris will have their hands full as the duo will be matched up on Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony for much of the evening.
The Wizards are a very fragile team right now. It’s only November, but another loss tonight could send this team into a free-fall.
When: Thursday, November 17th at 7 p.m. ET
Where: The Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Wizards: Bradley Beal (Game Time Decision, Hamstring) Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee)
Knicks: Lance Thomas (Game Time Decision, Ankle)
What to watch
The Wizards need to get out to a fast start
The Wizards were down 29-15 after the first quarter against the 76ers on Wednesday. That deficit ballooned to 24 in the second quarter and was too much for this team to overcome in the loss. If the Wizards are going to beat the Knicks, they’ll need a fast start. It’s no secret that the Wizards bench has been less than stellar this season, so it’s key that the starters build up a lead early.
Sadly enough, we’ll be able to tell a lot about the character of this team in the first quarter. Have they already packed it in here in mid-November or will they have the legs and energy to bounce back from an embarrassing loss?
Will Wall be on a minute restriction?
After playing just 24 minutes against the 76ers, will the coaching staff give Wall free reign or will he be on a minute restriction again Thursday night? This Wizards team is day and night when Wall is out there versus when he’s not and they’ll need Wall to play 30+ minutes if they’re going to win this game.
Satoransky has done a pretty good job running the second unit, it’s just the speed that Wall brings and his ability to push the ball is irreplaceable.
Can the Wizards pride out a victory?
This game won’t come down to strategy, rotations, or X’s and O’s. It’ll come down to pride and energy. Will the Wizards fight hard against a team that’s also playing in the second half of a back-to-back or have the wheels fallen off the wagon already? It feels like we’re just one blowout loss away from guys calling each other out, pointing fingers, and a locker room implosion. Let’s hope Thursday night isn’t that night.