The New York Knicks are unquestionably one of the very best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Washington Wizards are one of the worse teams in the entire NBA. What happens when the teams play? Its a trap game right? Well no one on the Knicks got the memo and they gave the Wizards another loss to add to their record.
First, a little history. The New York Knicks were founded in 1946 and are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They play in Manhattan, New York City in Madison Square Garden. Their colors are blue, orange, silver and white. They've won two NBA Championships (1970, 1973), eight Conference Titles (1951, 1952, 1953, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1994, 1999), four Division Titles (1971, 1989, 1993, 1994) and retired nine numbers (10, 12, 15, 19, 22, 24, 33, 613).
The Washington Wizards were founded in 1961 and are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. From 1961-1962 they were known as the Chicago Packers, from 1962-1963 they were the Chicago Zephyrs, from 1963-1973 they were the Baltimore Bullets, from 1973-1974 they were the Capital Bullets, from 1974-1997 they were the Washington Bullets and from 1997-present they have been the Washington Wizards. They play in Washington, D.C. at the Verizon Center.
Their colors are red, white, navy and silver. They have won one NBA Championship in 1978, four Conference Titles (1971, 1975, 1978, 1979), seven Division Titles (1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979) and have retired four numbers (10, 11, 25, 41).
That being said, combined the two teams won 11 games going into their contest Friday. The Wizards were only responsible for one of those victories. The Knicks have their eyes on a Division Title and have Championship aspirations. The Wizards have their eyes on the first pick in the NBA Draft.
In the Knicks capturing their sixth victory in as many tries at Madison Square Garden, Tyson Chandler posted a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the Knicks' 10th straight triumph over the Wizards.
Raymond Felton scored 11 and Pablo Prigioni continued to elevate his play in Jason Kidd's absence, who sat with back spasms for the third straight game. Prigioni tallied eight points and five assists in the victory.
The Wizards have some talent. However, the only players in their starting lineup that would cause teams to pay attention to them were Trevor Ariza and Jan Vesely. Nene, Emeka Okafor and John Wall didn't play for one reason or another.
It will be interesting moving forward to see how Nene and Okafor play next to one another and if Wall can become more of a pass-first point guard than the scorer he's known as. Despite his reputation he averages 8.2 assists a game for his career so there is no reason why Wall shouldn't be able to have a long and successful career in the NBA.
That being said, it remains to be seen if the Wizards can keep the young players they have and continue to build their roster up and improve the franchise or if they will have to overpay average free agents to come to their team and watch their high draft picks leave for greener pastures when they enter free agency.
The Knicks have their sights focused way beyond the Wizards. They have their eyes on a Division Title and hopes to compete for an NBA Championship. What they did Friday night was take care of business and show their dominance over a lesser skilled team.
While these types of matchups can seem like trap games, and basically a walk in the park, they are also the kind of games that are must-wins. They are the kind of games that teams that are more pretender than contender lose. The Knicks use to do that. They now do what is needed and fill the win column when they can. At the end of the year, these are the type of wins that can mean the difference from the first or second and the fourth or fifth seed.