Randy Wittman has constantly talked about having to win at least one game on a back-to-back and tonight the Wizards did so after beating the struggling New York Knicks in Washington. Here are the Bullet Points:
- John Wall was coming off his best scoring game of the season and he did a great job in repeating the performance tonight against the Knicks. Wall scored a game high 31 points to go along side 7 assists. He made all six of his field goal attempts in the first quarter and from that point on, it was obvious that the Knicks would struggle defending Wall’s penetration. Beno Udrih started to sag off Wall to help prevent him from attacking the basket, but it didn’t make a difference since Wall started to knock down his perimeter shots. Once Wall started hitting his jump shots, the floor opened up for Martell Webster, who made 5 of his 10 three point tries. John Wall did have 7 turnovers tonight, but the majority of them were unforced.
- I expected Nene to have a bounce back game tonight, but he didn’t find his shot early on and it didn’t come later in the game. Nene scored just 8 points on 4 for 10 shooting, but more importantly, he’s an offensive option that the Knicks had to pay close attention to. Even though he struggled, he still takes some of the pressure off Wall.
- Bradley Beal couldn’t get it going early on, but he eventually knocked down some crucial shots down the stretch. Besides John Wall, Bradley Beal might be the only wing player on the Wizards roster that could create his own shot. He didn’t make shots off the dribble tonight, but he did a great job moving without the ball, which is probably the most underrated part of his game.
- Even though John Wall was probably the player of the game tonight, the recognition could easily go to Marcin Gortat. Andrea Bargnani has been an awful rebounding big man his entire career and he certainly struggled against the Polish Hammer tonight. Gortat missed a few shots early on, but his activity on the glass didn’t falter. Gortat finished the game with 16 points and 17 rebounds.
- Every player in the Wizards starting lineup played 35+ minutes tonight, which isn’t good especially during the second game in as many nights. Washington’s bench has been atrocious and the starters will inevitably begin to struggle solely because of fatigue. I’d like to see Randy Wittman play a Garrett Temple/Glen Rice Jr. back court off the bench over Eric Maynor/Temple, because it might give the Wizards an offensive option off the bench. At this point, I’m concerned about the Wizards bench but there’s not much that could be done.
Overall, tonight was a great win for the Wizards and it’ll certainly help grow their confidence. New York fell to just 3-9 on the season, but beating a Carmelo Anthony-led team counts as a good win nonetheless.
Washington will have a few days to rest before meeting the Los Angeles Lakers at home on Tuesday.