Knicks Have Strong Chance To Win Against Decimated Wizards

Photo from Paul J. Bereswill and NY Post

The New York Knicks (7-23) will be at home, facing the Washington Wizards (8-20) at 7:00pm Eastern Time. The Knicks are listed as 3.5 point favorites, despite being with their top scorer, Marcus Morris Sr..

Starting Lineups- With 2 Attributes That Will Be Impactful Tonight (Strength, Weakness)

PositionNew York KnicksWashington Wizards
PGElfrid Payton (facilitating/defense, scoring)Ish Smith (shooting, defense)
SGRJ Barrett (driving, shooting)Bradley Beal (scoring/assisting, turnovers)
SFKevin Knox (3 point shooting, defense)Isaac Bonga (defense, shooting)
PFJulius Randle (interior scoring, turnovers)Admiral Schofield (defense, scoring)
CMitchell Robinson (rebounding/scoring, fouling)Ian Mahinmi (rebounding, scoring)

Matchup Of The Night

Elfrid Payton vs. Ish Smith

Both veteran point guards will be relied on heavily to set their teams’ up on offense and lead their young teammates. Ish Smith is only averaging 9.6 points per game, but is a very capable scorer. Smith is smooth and quick with the ball, capable of getting into the lane and finishing around the rim. He also is a good three-point shooter (37.7%). With all of the Wizards injuries, Smith will need to step-up and lift their offense when Beal isn’t running the show. Elfrid Payton is the Knicks best passer (5.5 assists per game) and is a tremendous defender (1.8 steals per game). Payton will look to get his young scorers Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson open looks, while generating space for Barrett and Randle to operate (driving to the basket). Payton has played a major role in the Knicks recent play (the Knicks are 4-5 when he plays 20+ minutes).

Inactives

Knicks- Wayne Ellington, Marcus Morris Sr., Taj Gibson, and Reggie Bullock

Wizards- Moritz Wagner, Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans, Isaiah Thomas, Jordan McRae, Thomas Bryant, CJ Miles, and John Wall

Key Statistics

  1. Washington is 3rd in the NBA, scoring 117.4 points per game. New York is last in the NBA, scoring 103.1 points per game.
  2. The Wizards are 7th in the NBA, shooting 46.6% from the floor. The Knicks are last in the NBA, shooting 42.8% from the field.
  3. The Wizards shoot 36.7% from three, 7th in the NBA. The Knicks shoot 34.4% from three, 24th in the NBA.
  4. Washington shoots 81.1% from the foul line, 3rd in the NBA. New York shoots 68.4% from the line, last in the NBA.
  5. The Knicks lead the NBA, grabbing 12.1 offensive rebounds per game. The Wizards are 28th in the NBA, averaging 31.5 defensive rebounds per game.
  6. Washington is 2nd in the NBA, averaging 27.3 assists per game. New York is 29th in the NBA, averaging 20.7 assists per game.
  7. The Knicks are 27th in the NBA in defensive rating (113.1). The Wizards are last in the NBA (116.2).
  8. The Wizards are 2nd in the NBA in Pace (104.43). The Knicks are 25th (98.96).

Keys To Winning

The Wizards are decimated by injuries and the Knicks must take advantage of this. Not only is Washington missing a majority of their top shooters, but they also severely lack depth. The Wizards utilize a very fast paced offense that may run them out of gas early, tonight. The Knicks should look to push the pace and attack the basket. The more New York can tire them out on defense and get them in foul trouble, the better. Washington only has 5 men on their bench, only 2 of which play significant minutes (Troy Brown Jr. and Anzejs Pasecniks). Washington’s offense will run through it’s guards Bradley Beal and Ish Smith. Beal will be the best player on the floor tonight and there isn’t much New York can do to stop him. However, locking up Ish Smith would be a major victory for New York and greatly increase their chances of winning. Washington has one of, if not the worst defense in the NBA. Scoring should be no issue for the Knicks tonight.

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