Friday, November 30, 2012
W2W4: Knicks vs. Wizards
By Ian Begley
The Knicks put their overtime loss to Brooklyn in the rearview mirror with a win over Milwaukee on Wednesday.
On Friday night, they'll try to put together another winning streak.
They face the Wizards (1-12), who won their first game on Wednesday, at Madison Square Garden.
Here a few things to watch during Friday's game:
CAN 'MELO KEEP IT UP?Carmelo Anthony's in the midst of one of his hottest stretches in a Knick uniform.
And he's probably going to be pretty happy to see the Wizards.
For his career, Melo’s averaging 27.1 points per game against Washington -- the third-highest mark versus a single opponent, according to Stats LLC.
He's also been red hot at Madison Square Garden, where he's scored an NBA-best 28.6 points per game as the Knicks have won their first five home games, per Stats LLC. But, really, it doesn't matter where Anthony plays these days. In his last four games, he's hit 65 percent of his 26 attempts from beyond the arc and averaged 32.5 points.
KIDDING ME?Jason Kidd is day-to-day with lower back spasms. He didn't make the trip to Brooklyn or Milwaukee with the Knicks (10-4). His status for Friday's game was unclear as of late Thursday night.
At 39, Kidd has established himself as a vital piece for the Knicks. He's averaging 8 points and just over 3 assists per game, but his stats don't give a full picture of the impact he leaves on a game.
Without Kidd, the Knicks offense was stagnant late in the loss to Brooklyn. Seventy percent of the Knicks' points came from two sources (Anthony and Tyson Chandler) and the Knicks' assist total (14) was matched by Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams.
It was a different story against Milwaukee on Wednesday, thanks in part to reserve point guard Pablo Prigioni, who had the best game of his brief NBA career by pouring in 11 points and handing out seven assists. Prigioni, 35, was the driving force behind the Knicks' decisive 35-point second quarter.
How will the Knicks handle things on Friday if Kidd doesn’t play against the Wizards?
NOVAKAINE:Steve Novak seems to be climbing out of his shooting slump. Novak's hit five three-pointers in two of the Knicks' last three games. His last game scoring in double figures prior to Sunday’s win over Detroit was on Opening Night against Miami.
Novak went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and poured in 19 points against Milwaukee on Wednesday. He also went 5-for-7 from three for 18 points against Detroit on Sunday.
Rasheed Wallace, on the other hand, has struggled recently, hitting just four of his last 21 shots over the last two games.