Christmas Day at New York
Oct 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) defends Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. New York Knicks won 103-100. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time since 2008, the Wiz Kids will play a game on Christmas Day. The game will take place at The Garden, arguably one of the biggest spotlights a team can play under on Christmas Day.
Wizards/Knicks games have been close in recent memory. Last season, Washington won all three games against New York, but won the final two by a combined two points. In last week’s preseason finale, Carmelo Anthony sank a three-pointer with seconds remaining to give the Knicks a 103-100 win.
Marcin Gortat, Nene and company should be able to hold their own down low against Amare Stoudemire and Andre Bargnani, while John Wall and Bradly Beal should be able to take care of Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon. However, Anthony and Cleanthony Early could pose a big threat against Paul Pierce and Otto Porter at the wing.
With Phil Jackson implementing the triangle offense through new head coach Derek Fisher, Stoudemire may return to his old form while Melo may see a boost in his offensive production, if that was at all possible.
Beal will also be coming off his wrist injury, so there may be some rust in his performance.
Expect another nail-biter between two Eastern Conference contenders in this Christmas Day matinee. Tip-off is scheduled for noon.