The Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks will be heading into their respective fourth and final preseason games at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. The Knicks are still unbeaten and will look to finish the campaign on a winning note, while the Wizards are hoping to get their first win before the official games start in a few days.
Despite a sorry loss to the Toronto Raptors a few days ago, the Washington Wizards are finally showing something tangible for their fans to be excited about. Kyle Kuzma displayed exceptional skills for a guy his size after scoring 24 points, highlighted by a 6-for-8 clip from beyond the arc. Rising center Daniel Gafford had a monstrous 27-minute stint, piling on 14 points and 17 rebounds.
The New York Knicks are also playing impressively, particularly on the offensive end, where they struggled last season. Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker and RJ Barrett’s improvements are helping the Knicks to a 115.1 offensive rating, which is a far cry from last season’s 110.2 figures. It remains to be seen if Tom Thibodeau’s team can maintain their offensive output in the long run.
Washington Wizards Injury Report
The Washington Wizards’ list of players who are out is the same from their previous game. Thomas Bryant is still rehabilitating after a left ACL injury he suffered in January last year. He is expected to miss at least the start of the regular season.
Cassius Winston is recovering from a left hamstring strain and will be sidelined. Rui Hachimura is not with the Washington Wizards team for personal reasons.
New York Knicks Injury Report
Coach Tom Thibodeau has designed Nerlens Noel and Mitchell Robinson as questionable. Noel complained of soreness in his left knee and could be held out. Robinson, who had a breakout season of sorts last campaign, broke his right foot in March in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The New York Knicks will be rightfully cautious with Robinson after years of struggling with injuries. He may not see playing time until the regular season starts.
Washington Wizards vs New York Knicks:
New head coach Wes Unseld Jr. is hopeful that the Washington Wizards have finally turned a corner with his retooled roster. It is all about developing further chemistry and building more confidence as the regular season draws near. Unseld Jr. will most likely go with his regular unit to start the game.
The Spencer Dinwiddie and Bradley Beal combo should be at their usual spots in the point guard and shooting guard slots, respectively. Daniel Gafford should take the center spot barring any injuries.
The red-hot Kyle Kuzma will start at power forward with veteran Kentavious Caldwell-Pope manning the small forward position.
New York Knicks
Kemba Walker could resume his quarterbacking duties after getting some rest in the last game against the Detroit Pistons. Kevin Knox, who was excellent the last time the New York Knicks played in a win against the Washington Wizards, could start beside Walker in the backcourt.
Julius Randle has been playing heavy minutes in the preseason and could likely get a breather. Obi Toppin could take the power forward slot with RJ Barrett continuing his improved play in the small forward position.
Taj Gibson should start at center but will likely be severely monitored with respect to his minutes as an injury will decimate the New York Knicks’ frontline.
Washington Wizards vs New York Knicks
Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard – Spencer Dinwiddie | Shooting Guard – Bradley Beal | Small Forward – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope | Power Forward – Kyle Kuzma | Center – Daniel Gafford.
New York Knicks
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Point Guard – Kemba Walker | Shooting Guard – Kevin Knox | Small Forward – RJ Barrett | Power Forward – Obadiah Toppin | Center – Taj Gibson.