2013 Preview and Game Thread: Knicks @ Wizards

ESPN TrueHoop blogger Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) of the excellent Wizards Blog TruthAboutit.net was kind enough to answer a few questions about the Wizards (18-38) as they take on the Knicks (34-20) for the third time this season.

The Wizards have as many wins in the first 40 games of the season (9) as they do over the last 16.  Is this just about getting John Wall back?

It’s definitely about John Wall, but to say that it’s ‘all’ about him would detract from the efforts of others. Wall has certainly helped the presence of Bradley Beal, but the rookie showed evidence of getting his NBA legs before Wall came back and continues to come into his own. Beal has recently shown the ability to carry the Wizards, especially with Wall struggling the past five or so games. Otherwise, interior defense and rebounding have really improved as Nene’s plantar fasciitis, which caused him to miss the first three weeks of the season, has continued to get better and his minutes have increased. (Of course, Nene is now dealing with a sore shoulder; he sat out of Wednesday’s game against Detroit.) The defensive front formed by Nene and Emeka Okafor is vastly different than having to pair Trevor Booker or Kevin Seraphin with Okafor.
 
Washington clearly hangs its hat of the defensive end (Def Rtg 102.2 6th in NBA).  Why does this team struggle to score  (Off Rtg 98.5 30th)?
Well, you have a point guard whose jumper still doesn’t get respect from NBA defenses. And it shouldn’t. Wall’s jumper this season ‘looks’ improved, but the fact is that he’s only shooting 0.8% better from midrange (33.3%) this season in comparison to last season. Otherwise, even as Beal comes along, the Wizards still lack enough bonafide scoring threats. And now, with Jordan Crawford in Boston, no one off the bench can create their own shot. The Wizards have found success running offense through Nene in the post, but as the season as progressed, you can tell that opposing defenses have adjusted their scouting reports, and the Wizards, not so much.
 
Who has the advantage and where?

The Knicks have the advantage from beyond the arc, but per a recent article that I wrote, the Wizards are one of the NBA’s best 3-point shooting teams since Wall’s return. Plus, there’s Carmelo — he would be an advantage. The Wizards, conversely, have an advantage in that they they do more sharing of the ball. If Washington can effectively defend Anthony (I’m sure they’ll run different looks at him all night), keep New York from getting second chance points, and run the Knick shooters off the 3-point line, we could have repeat of the 106-96 Wizards win in D.C. at the beginning of February.
 
Prediction:
 
I don’t feel great about John Wall getting out of his funk, so I’m calling a 111-106 New York win.
 
I have to agree with Kyle. The Wizards are much better than they were in the first half of the season, but I just do not see them repeating the same three point dominance they displayed in the last meeting (11 of 20 from deep) with Webster going 5 of 9 and Ariza 5 of 7.   Having said that, it would be nice if the Knicks keep an eye on the corner threes.
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Thomas B.

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72 thoughts to “2013 Preview and Game Thread: Knicks @ Wizards”

  1. Jared Dubin: “Carmelo leads the league in teammate eFG% off his passes over the last three years. #ssac13”

  2. ruruland:
    Jared Dubin: “Carmelo leads the league in teammate eFG% off his passes over the last three years. #ssac13?

    Probably just random though. No player receives more attention than any other player, no player is left more open than any other, not that any player would shoot a higher percentage when they’re open anyway.

  3. Woodson finally benches Kidd but for White?? Really?? Then he tells reporters its because he wants Kidd to play more PG and its easier for him to do that coming off the bench.

    Im really losing faith in Woodson.

  4. BigBlueAL:
    Woodson finally benches Kidd but for White??Really??Then he tells reporters its because he wants Kidd to play more PG and its easier for him to do that coming off the bench.

    Im really losing faith in Woodson.

    Cover. He’s not going to say he’s benching Kidd because he’s playing poorly.

  5. ess-dog:
    Does that put Shump starting at the 2 or 3?
    I know Kidd sucks now but come on, Woody, White??? He doesn’t start anywhere else in the league. I’m losing a lot of faith in the coach.

    What should he do? Start Amar’e?

  6. ruruland: Cover. He’s not going to say he’s benching Kidd because he’s playing poorly.

    Exactly. Judge him on the move (which is the right one) and not the comment about the move. If he starts playing Kidd at the 1 a lot then that would be a bad move, and lets judge him on that. But for now he made the right move in benching Kidd.

  7. ruruland: What should he do? Start Amar’e?

    Ive been saying for awhile now its probably time to play a normal frontcourt especially now that KMart is here and Camby is apparently going to be available to play on Sunday. So yeah start Amar’e or KMart I guess.

    Starting White?? Even with Kidd shooting horrible Id still rather have him shoot open 3pters than White. Melo in this lineup will be quadruple-teamed. If anything start Copeland again.

  8. BigBlueAL: Ive been saying for awhile now its probably time to play a normal frontcourt especially now that KMart is here and Camby is apparently going to be available to play on Sunday.So yeah start Amar’e or KMart I guess.

    Starting White??Even with Kidd shooting horrible Id still rather have him shoot open 3pters than White.Melo in this lineup will be quadruple-teamed.If anything start Copeland again.

    KMart isn’t ready to start yet. White has been impressive on defense and really limited sample shooting.

  9. ruruland: What should he do? Start Amar’e?

    He should start Copeland and move Shump to the 2. I’m not sure that James White is such a defensive improvement over Cope that it would make up for the significant upgrade in offense that Cope provides over White…and Kidd.

  10. And I agree that there is no point in our playing small-ball. What’s the point of playing small if your guards can’t shoot or push the tempo effectively?

  11. What massive just said.

    Anyway unfortunately cant watch the game tonight, of course hope for a Knicks win and will be interesting to see the rotation and minutes allocated tonight. I will be relying on the game thread for a good analysis of the latter lol.

  12. massive: He should start Copeland and move Shump to the 2. I’m not sure that James White is such a defensive improvement over Cope that it would make up for the significant upgrade in offense that Cope provides over White…and Kidd.

    If you’re going to continue switching on the perimeter then White probably is enough of a defensive upgrade over Copeland to warrant having him in there.

  13. so thrilled to see Kidd finally benched that I don’t even mind that it’s for the largely worthless White.

  14. Jason Kidd shot .196 from the floor in February, and .156 from 3PT. He had 4 FT attempts in 266 minutes. He’s fallen off the proverbial cliff. Hell, I think he might have fallen off an actual cliff.

    Certainly James White can do better than THAT.

  15. JK47:
    Jason Kidd shot .196 from the floor in February, and .156 from 3PT.He had 4 FT attempts in 266 minutes.He’s fallen off the proverbial cliff.Hell, I think he might have fallen off an actual cliff.

    Certainly James White can do better than THAT.

    At least he doesn’t have two more years left on his contract after this one (Note: I lied, he actually does).

  16. Aaron Brooks is going to sign with Houston, I’m going to laugh really hard when he gets more minutes in the playoffs than Lin.

  17. If this happens, the coach is REALLY an idiot

    jon abbey:
    Aaron Brooks is going to sign with Houston, I’m going to laugh really hard when he gets more minutes in the playoffs than Lin.

  18. Guess it wasn’t a cover, the playing Kidd at point guard thing. Weird.

  19. How in the world did Shumpert not even hit the rim on that wide open layup?

  20. Will the Thrill:
    How in the world did Shumpert not even hit the rim on that wide open layup?

    He was “too” open.

    Also, he’s still coming back from a massive injury. The effort is there, but the rest needs time.

  21. Melo needs to get with the shooting coach quick. He is just off on the long ball.

  22. we ended that half strong due to our defense. first time e have looked good on d in a while. lets see if it continues into the 2nd half.

  23. maxwell_3g:
    we ended that half strong due to our defense.first time e have looked good on d in a while.lets see if it continues into the 2nd half.

    Really haven’t looked any different than the last couple weeks defensively.

  24. What a wonderful start to the 2nd half! that drive by felton made me believe in God. This is all we want, sensible decisions, sensible plays and hard work on D. (except for melo getting posterized by beal after he split shump and someone else). Melo heating up too….

    please, please let it last..

  25. hegotgame:
    What a wonderful start to the 2nd half! that drive by felton made me believe in God. This is all we want, sensible decisions, sensible plays and hard work on D. (except for melo getting posterized by beal after he split shump and someone else). Melo heating up too….

    please, please let it last..

    Chandler.

  26. hegotgame:
    What a wonderful start to the 2nd half! that drive by felton made me believe in God. This is all we want, sensible decisions, sensible plays and hard work on D. (except for melo getting posterized by beal after he split shump and someone else). Melo heating up too….

    please, please let it last..

    Knicks aren’t playing any different.

  27. ruruland:
    Jared Dubin: “Carmelo leads the league in teammate eFG% off his passes over the last three years. #ssac13?

    So you’re saying Melo should pass more? I agree-he’s a terrific passer.

  28. OK. time for me to rant about ridiculous offensive foul calls made by NBA refs. what the hell was that all about??

  29. why do ariza and webster turn into ray allen and dale ellis impersonators against us??

  30. trying to respect my elders and not post anything too nasty about jason kidd right now

  31. DRed: So you’re saying Melo should pass more?I agree-he’s a terrific passer.

    Doesn’t that just = highest % of 3s on assists?

  32. Cot damn. These threes are just getting out of hand.

    ruruland: Knicks aren’t playing any different.

    Well its not that they haven’t been doing it at all, its more a case of consistency. Thats really our seasons main issue. We always at least show flashes but we’re not burying teams like we used to in the 2nd half. its frustrating cos I see many reasons to believe. But the difference between us and title contender is complete devotion to consistently good basketball. Of course, the wiz are shooting lights out and getting some calls now helping the swing, but we’re not executing and making the best play even after a great start. Lets hope Melos jam reenergizes them

  33. our bench is sooo friggin awful. how novak still gets his minutes and cope cant even smell some run frustrates me

  34. maxwell_3g:
    nba ref gift.these guys are the best in the biz???

    I couldn’t even tell if that was the right call after 2 replays. They might have got it wrong, but it was damn close.

  35. not to upset ruru, but amare has been awful today. he is playing against front court scrubs and is turning the ball over and cant grab a rebound. basically, he is being amare

  36. DRed: I couldn’t even tell if that was the right call after 2 replays.They might have got it wrong, but it was damn close.

    you must have not gotten the replay i got (i have the wiz feed tonight). it was clearly wrong

  37. Woodson is way too stubborn with his line-up’s/rotations. its almost laughable at this point.

  38. mr.JayP:
    Woodson is way too stubborn with his line-up’s/rotations. its almost laughable at this point.

    well, he did change the lineup today, i agree with your overall point.

  39. maxwell_3g: not to upset ruru, but amare has been awful today. he is playing against front court scrubs and is turning the ball over and cant grab a rebound. basically, he is being amare

    They all have been awful all the time. What’s new on this board?

  40. somehow, okafor has never been a knick. he is the exact type of player and contract that it seems our team would have blown money on at one point

  41. woodson!!!!! kidd out, shump in!!! neither canmake a shot, but at least shump can stay in front of beal!!

  42. Woodson man…i have very little faith in him.

    Felton just pulled that bucket out his ass.

  43. Not the prettiest win, but the Wizards have been playing very well lately, so winning in DC is pretty impressive.

  44. “Oof.” But I’ll take it the win.

    Bench Novak until he comes back from a week-long defensive clinic. I nearly lost my lunch with his pathetic defense in the 2nd quarter.

  45. Just got home, looked like it was ugly but Ill gladly take the win!!

    Going back to our pre-game talk about the new lineup. Looked at the box score and Kidd still played 27 mins off the bench and Prigs was a DNP. Since Felton played “only” 29 mins I assume Kidd was the PG for 19 of his 27 mins?? Also White got 10 mins so I assume it was just to play the first few mins of each half before JR entered. Also KMart with a DNP as well.

    Dunno what to make of this rotation tonight by Woodson, will be more interesting to see how it shakes out vs the Heat on Sunday.

  46. WOW. Felton just iced the game, with his infamous floater?? Amen. Throw it in the bag, lets focus on the heat

  47. I thought the offense moved the ball but when you move the ball and you put up bricks it will look ugly. Still need to post STAT more while he is in the game though.

  48. Washington’s previous 8 home games against above .500 teams:

    Oklahoma City W 101-99
    Atlanta W 93-83
    Chicago W 86-73
    LA Clippers W 98-90
    NY Knicks W 106-96
    Brooklyn W 89-74
    Denver W 119-113
    Houston W 105-103

    nice win.

  49. yellowboy90:
    I thought the offense moved the ball but when you move the ball and you put up bricks it will look ugly. Still need to post STAT more while he is in the game though.

    They broke down the defense quite often (well Melo did…) before it toughened up mid-4th quarter but missed a lot of open looks they got. Kidd passed up at least 4 open looks (could be more) and only 1 of those became an assist if I recall correctly, the rest were misses or busted possessions.

    He needs to stop treating the ball as if it were covered in herpes. I don’t care if he misses, he cannot pass up open looks. It’s not even about recovering his shooting touch. He’s completely compromising his ability to penetrate and break down defenses when he virtually announces to his defender, “I am scared sh1tless of shooting so don’t bother playing closeup on me; you can just stay back and close my dribbling lanes rendering me as offensively impotent as Chandler on the perimeter.”

    The big problem is: he MUST know this. He’s been playing too long and is too smart not to know this. I can only surmise that Woodson is not getting on him over this because he’s too busy extolling his defensive virtues to the weaker defenders.

  50. Wow, what an ending in Denver!!

    Ty Lawson with the game-winning jumper with almost literally no time left on the clock!

    Wilson Chandler with 35 points!!!

  51. Brian Cronin:

    Avery Bradley, by the way, did a great job on Steph Curry tonight. Maybe Shump should have guarded Curry more the other night.

    Bradley has a significantly more lenient whistle than anybody on the Knicks’ roster.

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