New York Knicks: Washington Wizards

Notebook: Prigioni continues strong play

December, 1, 2012
During Friday morning's shootaround, the Knicks didn't think Jason Kidd would be out much longer with lower back spasms. But in the meantime, backup point guard Pablo Prigioni has been stepping in nicely for the future Hall of Famer.

After an 11-point, seven-assist performance in the Knicks' win over the Bucks on Wednesday night, Prigioni put up eight points, five assists and no turnovers in 25 minutes off the bench Friday night. He was also in rhythm from downtown for the second game in a row, shooting 4-for-5 during that stretch. Previously, he was at 18.8 percent.

[+] EnlargePablo Prigioni
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesPablo Prigioni and the Knicks had plenty of reasons to smile on Friday night.
"Pablo's been great," starter Raymond Felton said postgame. "I can't even call him a rookie -- he's been a pro his whole life. This is his first time playing NBA basketball, but he's been playing overseas pro basketball his whole life, so he's a great player all around. He knows the game, he understands the game and he makes things easy for us. He's a guy that when you put him in the game, we don't lose a beat."

Prigioni, 35, led the play of the game, throwing an alley-oop pass to J.R. Smith, who converted a reverse, two-hand dunk with 8:11 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Knicks up 95-73.

GOOD J.R. RETURNS: Smith got back to the way he was playing during the Knicks' first 13 games of the season. On Friday night, he started with 10 points in six minutes, and went on to finish with 20 points in 38 minutes. He was knocking shots down all over the court.

WHERE'S CAMBY? The Garden crowd chanted Marcus Camby's name throughout the third and fourth quarters, but Mike Woodson didn't put the veteran big man in the game. Camby was the only healthy Knick not to play in the win on Friday night.

Woodson has said Camby needs to get into better game shape, but there seemed to be ample opportunity to insert the 38-year-old into the Wizards game.

"I decided tonight to go with the young guys," Woodson said. "Marcus is a pro, he understands. He's here for the long haul and he's here to help us win. I decided to go with (James) White and (Chris) Copeland tonight, and I thought they played well for the minutes they received."

Copeland, the Knicks' 28-year-old rookie, tied his career-high with six points on 3-for-5 shooting in 13 minutes. White had three points, two rebounds and an assist in nine minutes.

HOME COOKIN': The Knicks are 6-0 at home for the first time since 1992-93. They are 17-1 in regular-season home games since Woodson took over last March.

The players say they're trying to make the Garden a difficult place to win.

"The Garden is known for when it's rocking as one of the toughest places to play," Carmelo Anthony said. "For us to keep that going and protect our home court, that's big."

The Knicks' 11 wins in November are their most in a month since going 11-6 in March 2000, and their .733 winning percentage for the month is their highest since 1993-94.

KNICKS' ASSIST: The Knicks honored Dale Mapp, Peter Vadola and Danny Idiaquez of Midland Beach for their efforts to usher more than 200 Staten Island residents to safety after Hurricane Sandy. The Knicks made a $2,000 donation to a charity of the recipients' choice.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Rapid Reaction: Knicks 108, Wizards 87

November, 30, 2012

WHAT IT MEANS: No Jason Kidd? No problem. Especially not against the hapless Wizards.

The Knicks won their second straight game without Kidd, drubbing the Wizards 108-87 on Friday. The Knicks are 6-0 at home for the first time since 1992.

Carmelo Anthony led New York (11-4) with 20 points in 28 minutes on 6-for-13 shooting. The Knicks outscored the Wizards by 15 with Anthony on the court and New York led for the game's final 42 minutes.

Kidd has missed the last three games because of lower back spasms. He is day to day and hopes to return sometime during the Knicks' trip next week. The Knicks are 2-1 without him.

PRIG-GIE SMALLS: The fear with Kidd out of the lineup is that the Knicks' ball movement will suffer. But that wasn't the case Friday night. The Knicks finished with 24 assists on 43 makes. The Wizards, by the way, had 11 assists on 35 makes.

J.R. Smith led the Knicks with six assists, and Anthony and Pablo Prigioni had five apiece.

Once again, Prigioni did a great job moving the ball and he even hit a few shots -- he made two 3-pointers in the first half and finished with eight points on 3-for-4 shooting.

Prigioni has been solid in the past two games. On Wednesday against Milwaukee, he finished with career-highs in points (11) and assists (seven) and helped the Knicks score 35 points in the decisive second quarter.

On Friday, he dazzled the crowd by finding Smith for a reverse alley-oop from 35 feet out in the fourth quarter.

SMITH SIZZLES: That wasn't Smith's lone contribution. The Knicks' sixth man bounced back from a bad night against Milwaukee to score 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting. He hit two of the Knicks' 12 3-pointers.

Steve Novak chipped in nine points on three 3-pointers off the bench. Tyson Chandler and Ronnie Brewer scored 12 points apiece and Ray Felton had 11 points.

CROWD WANTS CAMBY: The Madison Square Garden crowd chanted for Marcus Camby. But Mike Woodson didn't oblige. Camby missed the preseason because of a calf injury and has played sparingly since. He was the only Knick who didn't play Friday.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks take on the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden at noon on Sunday.

Rapid Reaction: Knicks 103, Wizards 65

April, 13, 2012

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks basically got an extra scrimmage in on Friday night to prepare for the Miami Heat on Sunday, thumping the lowly Washington Wizards, 103-65. It was the fewest points scored by a Knicks' opponent since the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 13, 2008 (the final score was 89-65).

On offense, the Knicks finished with 14 3-pointers, while the Wizards only had four.

With the win, the Knicks are now the seventh seed in the playoff picture, moving ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers who lost to the New Jersey Nets tonight, 95-89. Even though the Knicks and Sixers have the same record (31-28), the Knicks own the tiebreaker. They are now three games back of the Boston Celtics for the Atlantic Division crown.

DIFFERENCE MAKER: Defense, as usual. Since Mike Woodson took over the the team on March 14, the Knicks have been holding opponents to 90.3 points per game -- third-best during that span. Tonight, they held the Wizards to only 13 first-quarter points, and only one period (the second) to 20 points or more.

THE GOOD: 1. Carmelo Anthony's hot streak. Since March 26, when Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudemire became inactive due to injuries, Melo has been stepping up his game. Entering Friday, he was averaging 30 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 80 percent from the foul line. Tonight, he could've finished with more than 30, but the Knicks didn't need it. He had 18 points on 8-for-17 shooting through basically 2½ quarters.

2. Baron Davis' big game. On his 33rd birthday, he had his best game as a Knick, scoring a season-high 18 points. Let's face it, the Wizards are a struggling team that suffers on defense. But Davis did appear to gain some explosiveness driving to the basket -- something he mentioned he had been missing lately -- and was catch-and-shoot money from downtown (4-for-5).

3. Points in the paint. The Knicks took advantage of the undersized Wizards and had 30 points in that area on the court by the end of the third quarter. The Wizards only had 16 at that point.

BOLD PLAY OF THE GAME: Actually two. Anthony had two buzzer-beating, close-range shots to end the first and second quarters.

THE BAD: Iman Shumpert sprained his right ankle in the third quarter and did not return. This is definitely something to keep an eye on heading into Sunday's matchup against the Heat. Shumpert's defense will be especially needed against Dwyane Wade, just like it was against Chicago Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose in last Sunday's Knicks win.

WHAT'S NEXT: A meeting with sports' biggest rock band: the Miami Heat, featuring Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Even though they're still the second seed in the East, they haven't been putting on their best performances against the top defensive teams this month, losing to the Grizzlies, Bulls and Celtics twice. Well, defense has been name of the game for the Knicks since March 14.

The strong defenses have been breaking up the Heat's team offense and forcing them to play more isolation ball through James and Wade. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has been most concerned with his guys losing their identity during the season, especially considering the star talent they have, and that's been the root of their problem lately. The Knicks will need to keep exposing it on Sunday afternoon, starting at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.



Carmelo Anthony
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2