The Wizards were blown out 131-113 in the first game of their doubleheader at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks, led by All-Star forward Julius Randle, handed Washington its 9th loss in the last 11 games.
Again, questions about the Wizards’ doggedness arose after this loss. And again, the only way the Wizards can answer is with their performance in the next game. With Tuesday’s loss, the Wizards enter Thursday’s rematch 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. With just 30 games left in the regular season, the Wizards must quickly return to the win column and stay there if they want to close the gap between them and the last spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.
The Wizards have seemed to perform better with their backs against the wall this season. It’s safe to say that’s the position they find themselves in as they look for their first victory against the Knicks this season.
Here’s everything you need to know about the contest.
WIZARDS VS. KNICKS HOW TO WATCH
What: Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
When: Thursday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Wizards vs. Knicks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Knicks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM
WIZARDS vs KNICKS TV SCHEDULE
6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:30 PM: NBA: Wizards vs. Knicks (LIVE)
10:00 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
WIZARDS vs KNICKS WHAT TO WATCH
- A key contributor to the Wizards loss on Tuesday was the fact that they failed to contain Julius Randle, who finished with 37 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. But Randle was far from the only factor. RJ Barrett and Alec Burks put up 20-plus points on the night and six different Knicks scorers finished the game in double digits. The Knicks offense runs through Julius Randle, so limiting his touches and impact will be vital for the Wizards. Limiting the rest of the Knicks squad will likely come down to effort.
- Despite their dominance on Tuesday, the Knicks have not been a strong offensive team this season. They rank 28th in points per game, shooting 45.4 from the field, but 16 Wizards turnovers translated to 27 easy points for the Knicks. Cutting down the turnovers will help, but the Wizards backcourt will have to bounce back from an extremely poor shooting night to beat the a tough Knicks defense.
- Bradley Beal and Julius Randle went back and forth on Tuesday, showing the competitive spirit of two All-Stars that still feel they have something to prove. They don’t match up on defense, but they are the definitive leaders of their respective teams. Randle outscored Beal by 15 points when it was all said and done, and Beal will likely have that in the back of his mind come Thursday. Look for a highly motivated Bradley Beal to leave it all on the floor, and then some.
WIZARDS vs KNICKS PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards (31.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.6 apg): After Tuesday's loss, Bradley Beal was disappointed in his team's inability to get up for a winnable game. By his standards, his last two scoring performances have been poor. He finished the game with 22 points, 4 assists and 1 rebound. The league's leading scorer will look to bounce back on night two at Madison Square Garden.
Julius Randle, PF, Knicks (23.3 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 5.9 apg): Randle dropped 37 points on the Wizards, his second-highest total of the season. He has been the heart and soul of Tom Thibodeau's Knicks squad, and Thibodeau is not the type to give his star players a break even in a blowout. Randle played over 37 minutes, while Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal sat the entire fourth quarter. We'll see if that weighs on his legs in the second matchup.