Preview: Washington Wizards face off against New York Knicks at MSG

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal RJ Barrett (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal RJ Barrett (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards will look to overcome their injury-stricken roster and get a win over the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks are bad. That’s not news. But the Washington Wizards are beaten, broken, and bruised in a big way.

Entering Monday night’s matchup in Madison Square Garden, the Wizards will be missing seven players due to injury and one player (Isaiah Thomas) to suspension.

Still, if there was ever a game that was winnable with an eight-man injury report, this is it. New York is 7-23, only eight games removed from firing their head coach, and still lacking direction. They, like the Wizards, have their own messes to deal with right now.

Wizards to Watch

The theme all year has been just how far can Bradley Beal carry this Washington team? And on Monday night, he’ll be put to the same test once again. This time, with much less help than usual.

In a game that features next-to-no star power, Beal will be the clear-cut best player on the court. It should be a high-scoring performance for the All-Star guard as the Knicks don’t have the lock-down defender it takes to match his knack for scoring.

More than ever, Beal will really be forced to do it all and will this Wizards team to a win fi they want to be victorious in New York.

Elsewhere, look for Troy Brown Jr to help provide a spark. The sophomore forward is somewhat a Swiss Army Knife and helps out in a variety of ways, whether he’s skying for rebounds, pushing the fast break, or finding cutting teammates for easy buckets.

With so many key contributors out, Brown will see a higher volume of touches on Monday against New York. It’ll be up to him to respond and make the most of them. He’s currently averaging 8.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game, but has looked better since returning to the bench after a brief stint as a starter.

Offense is the Key

If the Washington Wizards are going to walk into Madison Square Garden eight men down and pull out a victory, it’ll require a strong performance on offense.

The first thing that comes to mind is at least a 30-point night from Beal, which at this point, Beal can turn in like clockwork. It’s the first New York-Washington matchup this season, but he Beal averaged 22 points against the Knicks last season.

Plus, if Beal isn’t scoring, who else will? I won’t be Davis Bertans or Rui Hachimura or Isaiah Thomas. They are all out!

Another tactic Washington should pursue in this matchup is taking as many open three-pointers as they’re allowed by the New York defense. Despite being without their top shooters, the Wizards have guys who can knock down the open deep ball from time to time in Ish Smith and Troy Brown.

dark. Next. Let if Fly, Davis Bertans

And the Knicks defense, well it’s one of the worst along the perimeter. Per Basketball-Reference, New York is allowing their opponents 35.5 shots from deep per game, ranked 26th league-wide.

And of those attempts, opponents are making 39 percent of them, which ranks the Knicks’ three-point defense 29th in the NBA. There’s no question that Washington will see open looks from deep. But without some of their best shooters, will the Wizards be able to convert?