The Knicks recently completed a five game homestand against teams with a combined record of 100-141. So clearly it’s not surprising they went 5-0. Their dominance, however, might have been. The Knicks won each game on their homestand by an average of 16 points, scoring over 95 points in each game. If you want to take anything out of this moving forward, look at the improved defense. The Knicks held the Bucks, Kings, and Pistons to 86, 81, and 85 points respectively.
On the homestand, Carmelo Anthony’s 20-point game streak ended at 31, setting a new franchise record. While that streak may be over, another Knick will be looking to set a franchise record tonight. Tyson Chandler tied a franchise record with 20 rebounds in three straight games, most recently done by Willis Reed during the Knicks championship season of 1969-70. If Chandler grabs 20 rebounds versus the Wizards, he gets the record for himself.
What’s the likelihood of Chandler grabbing 20 rebounds again? This season, Over the past three games, Chandler’s total rebounding percentage has jumped from his season average of 20 percent to 33 percent. The Wizards are not a very good shooting team, as their .422 FG% is 30th in the league. On the other hand, the Wizards are eighth in the league on the defensive glass, with a rebounding percentage of 74.2 percent. Denying Chandler offensive rebounds is the key to prevent a fourth straight 20-rebound performance. I tend to agree with our projections, which have Chandler with 10 rebounds.
Wizards: A Lot Better With John Wall
It doesn’t take advanced analytics to discover the Wizards are a lot better when John Wall is playing. Since Wall’s return on January 12th, the Wizards are 7-7, and have more wins in those last 14 games than in the first 33.
The players around Wall are in obvious need of an upgrade, but Wall and Bradley Beal, who is a game-time decision, will form a good backcourt duo. The Knicks had some trouble with guards a few weeks ago, but they did hold Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis in check last week against the Bucks. If the Knicks can contain Wall and Beal, they should run their winning streak up to six.