After a much needed day off for the New York Knicks, the team returns to Madison Square Garden to battle with the Washington Wizards with only eight games left in the regular season.
While many fans were on edge with the sloppy but huge win for the team in Milwaukee, this particular match-up should be of concern for Knicks fans. Why?
Because everything about tonight’s match-up screams trap game.
The Knicks are still coming off the high of the playoff-like atmosphere in Milwaukee. Add that to the team seeing Miami and Boston on the schedule coming up after tonight and there is concern that their sights might not be on the present and now.
As previously stated, every game for the Knicks from here on out is of utmost importance. In my last piece about the magnitude of the Bucks game, I highlighted the Wizards as one of the four games remaining for New York that the team should win. The Wizards are currently riding a bit of a hot streak, winning their last two games.
The player to watch for tonight on the Wizards is young forward Kevin Seraphin. Since the team moved Nick Young, Seraphin has been getting an increase in his minutes, and has been giving the team solid play on offense and on the glass. In April, Seraphin is up to 33.4 minutes per night, notching 16.3 points 7.9 rebounds. He’s coming off a career night against the Magic, when he tallied 24 points and 13 boards.
John Wall is always a threat as well, as he is the exact type of point guard that usually gives the Knicks fits on the defensive end. He’s a quick slasher with the ability to get to the rim at will and distribute the ball along the wings to his teammates. With Jordan Crawford flanking him in the back court, this is still a very dangerous team despite their 14-44 record.
In order for the Knicks to be successful tonight, they need to realize that their first concern has to be the Washington Wizards. They can’t be looking forward to their match-ups ahead of Washington, or the playoff-like game they played on Wednesday. Now that the Bucks are behind them, this game has to become a must-win for them. In logic and in terms of the playoff picture, it isn’t. But, for the Knicks to take their talents to the next level, they need to view every game as a must-win.
That’s what championship teams do.