With their highest offensive output since the end of February, the New York Knicks ran the Washington Wizards out of the gym on Tuesday with a 131-113 victory. The performance put the Knicks back onto a .500 record and they now sit seventh in the tightly packed Eastern Conference. For Washington, that was their seventh loss in eight games since the All-Star break and has pushed back any momentum they generated.
Fixture: Washington Wizards vs New York Knicks | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Thursday, March 24th; 7:30 PM ET (Friday, March 25th; 5:00 AM IST).
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Washington Wizards Preview
Scott Brooks' future with the Washington Wizards franchise has had doubts cast over it. They have come recently amid a devastating run that has undone the good work his side put in during February. During the month, the Wizards were 9-6 but have since gone 2-9.
Unfortunately for the Wizards, they simply aren't good enough at the moment. They have two stars in Beal and Westbrook who can rally them toward a potential play-in place, however, their supporting cast is showing its weaknesses.
With their losing record, it is unlikely the Washington Wizards front office will be able to bring in offensive role players before the trade deadline. Therefore, they are going to have to survive on their stars' output until the offseason.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Both Beal and Westbrook have been magnificent this season as they have begun to show signs of the partnership that was promised. Although Beal has put on a scoring clinic, it is Westbrook who is stuffing the stat sheet for the Wizards as continues to rack up his career triple-doubles.
Since the All-Star break, Westbrook has been on a tear, averaging 26.7 points, 11.8 assists and 8.8 rebounds. He put up 4 triple-doubles and scored 65 points across two encounters with the Bucks in the stretch.
What a future with the Washington Wizards looks like for Westbrook remains to be seen. However, both he and Beal need additional talent around them to compete in the long-run.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Russell Westbrook l Shooting Guard - Bradley Beall Small Forward - Garrison Matthews l Power Forward - Rui Hachimura l Center - Alex Len
New York Knicks Preview
Bouncing back from a tough loss against the Philadelphia 76ers at the weekend, the New York Knicks responded in the right way by pouring in 131 points against a poor Wizards defense. Six Knicks stars scored double-digit points with three scoring more than 20. Tom Thibodeau's side look like they're back to their best.
In four games since the mid-season break, the New York Knicks have held their opponents to under 102 points,. The stretch included two games against the strong Philadelphia 76ers. A solid defense has been the foundation of Thibodeau's success this season and will inevitably draw the attention of star talent in the offseason.
Knicks fans have seen Mitchell Robinson back on the floor over the last two games. The 22-year-old center scored 16 points and grabbed 12 boards off the bench on Tuesday and will be pivotal in New York's playoff hopes.
Key Player - Julius Randle
Julius Randle is the predominant reason the New York Knicks are 22-22 and have a shot at making the playoffs this season. His 7 threes against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday tied a career-high and reminded fans of the wide-ranging talent Randle possesses.
The power forward is putting up career-highs across the board, averaging a double-double per game. He also has 3 triple-doubles this season.
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Elfrid Payton l Shooting Guard - RJ Barrett l Small Forward - Reggie Bullock l Power Forward - Julius Randle l Center - Mitchell Robinson
Wizards vs Knicks Match Prediction
The New York Knicks did a fantastic job of shutting down the Washington Wizards' backcourt pairing of Beal and Westbrook. They will need to do a similar job if they are to succeed on Thursday night.
Most of the Wizards' offensive production was poor on Tuesday, with 16 turnovers and only 7 offensive rebounds. They also suffered on the defensive end where Julius Randle was able to drive the lane and pull up frequently. The New York Knicks will look to exploit Washington's poor run and go above .500. Recent form suggests another home win again.