John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards play Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks on Thursday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS at NEW YORK KNICKS
Where: Madison Square Garden
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
Live stream: NBA.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
After Wednesday's win over the Grizzlies, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was asked a question about his team's struggles in the second game of back-to-backs. The reporter (okay, it was me) mentioned they have trouble in those games and Brooks quipped: "Ya think?"
It has truly been that bad. The Wizards are just 1-7 this season with zero days rest despite being 21-11 in all other scenarios. That one win was against the Knicks, on Nov. 17 after they had played the Sixers the night before. Not once this year have they taken both games in a back-to-back set.
Luckily for the Wizards, they go up against a team they have already beaten. The Knicks are also playing the second game of a back-to-back and they are terrible in those too at 1-8.
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In addition to struggling in back-to-back sets, the Wizards have also found major trouble on the road. At the Verizon Center they have won 13 straight and are 18-6, tied with the Cavs for the second-most home wins behind the Warriors (19). But away from Washington, the Wizards have lost four of five and are 4-13 overall, second-worst in the NBA only to the Brooklyn Nets.
This may be a good time to see if the Wizards can finally get over that hump. They have won six of their last seven games and nine of 12 overall, while five of their next six games are on the road. Will the road slow their roll or can they stay hot?
Porzingis likely out
The Wizards are probably not going to see Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, as he is set for an MRI on his left Achilles'. He has missed four straight games and seven out of his last 11. The Wizards found success guarding Kristaps Porzingis in the first matchup between these two teams, when he shot 7-for-16 from the field, but things will surely be easier if they don't have to deal with his versatility on both ends of the floor.
The Knicks, on the other hand, can use all the help they can get. They have lost 11 of their last 14 games and now Carmelo Anthony trade rumors are heating up again. Seeing them at this time, and without Porzingis, should offer the Wizards a good opportunity to keep it rolling with a win.