When: Monday, Mar. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NY
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
How to listen: 1500 AM/SiriusXM Radio
Wizards: Davis Bertans (Calf, Out); Ish Smith (Quad, Out); Thomas Bryant (Knee, Out)
Knicks: Mitchell Robinson (Ankle, Day-to-Day), Immanuel Quickley (Ankle, Day-to-Day), Elfrid Payton (Hamstring, Day-to-Day), Austin Rivers (Out, Personal)
What to watch for
The Wizards have already played the Knicks once this season, losing 114-96 on Feb. 12. While New York isn’t expected to be one of the top contenders to be the Eastern Conference champions, they at least have the third-best defensive rating in the NBA, which should keep them competitive in most games this season.
I don’t expect the Wizards to win this game or their next on Thursday. Given the Wizards’ poor play all season long defensively, the Knicks should have a better than average chance of having a good night offensively while remaining a defensive stalwart against a predictable backcourt-heavy offense.
On top of all that, the Wizards are facing the NBA trade deadline. Though it’s unlikely that they will make major moves (mostly due to their unwillingness to trade Bradley Beal), no one truly knows what will happen until Thursday night, and that could affect a number of players’ heads until this deadline is behind us.
It’s possible Washington is hot offensively tomorrow and Thursday. But I’m not optimistic.