After snapping a three-game losing streak with an impressive effort, the Knicks look to put together another dominant scoring performance against the Wizards when the teams kick off a home-and-home series Wednesday night.
D’Antoni has brought an up-tempo style of play in his first season as New York’s coach, but he doesn’t want that approach to lead his team into rushing unwise shots. He wants more ball movement and self-control, and the Knicks (14-22) came through in a 101-95 win over New Orleans on Monday night.
New York had 30 assists—its most since November—to salvage the finale of a four-game road trip.
“This is an example of the way we need to play,” Knicks swingman Quentin Richardson said. “It shows when we play that way we can beat some of he best teams in the NBA.”
In the first three games of the Knicks’ trip - losses to Oklahoma City, Dallas and Houston - they had a combined 42 assists and no more than 15 in any of those contests.
New York has been much more efficient in two games against Washington (7-30) this season, averaging 30.5 assists and 118.0 points en route to winning both contests. The Knicks are shooting 42.6 percent from 3-point range against the Wizards, and had five players scoring in double digits in each of the teams’ matchups.
On Friday night, New York will travel to Washington to conclude this season series. With the Knicks playing three games in four days, they could use some depth.
New York, though, has been without center Eddy Curry (knee) the past two games and his status for Wednesday’s matchup is uncertain.
Curry’s injury has kept him out of all but one game this season—on Thursday against Dallas—and now he is being burdened by legal matters. He’s being sued by a man who worked as his driver, who alleges Curry owes him money, sexually harassed him and berated him with racist slurs.
Curry denies the allegations, brought forth in a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New York.
Washington is dealing with no such distractions but is having enough trouble on the court, at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and having lost five straight—four against teams under .500.
An inability to hold leads has been of particular concern. The Wizards lost 97-91 to Milwaukee on Monday night in their 12th defeat of the season when leading in the fourth quarter.
“Don’t you get the feeling like we’ve seen this movie before?” Washington interim coach Ed Tapscott said. “We’re like a writer with writer’s block. We can get the first couple of chapters written fairly efficiently and fairly well, but getting to the ending - we just can’t seem to write the correct ending.”
Antawn Jamison scored 25 points despite playing with a strained right knee.
“A day without Jamison would be a day without sunshine for me,” Tapscott said.
Jamison leads Washington with 20.5 points and 9.2 rebounds a contest. He’s averaging 26.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in two games against the Knicks this season.