We continue in our look at how the New York Knicks stack up against every team in the Eastern Conference, which brings us to the Washington Wizards.
A year ago, the Knicks won all three games against the Wizards, but in this particular matchup, neither team looks anything like it did just one year ago.
We all know about the changes the Knicks made in the offseason, but the Wizards revamped as well by drafting Bradley Beal and trading for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. The Wizards will be more athletic and better defensively, but let’s see if they match up well against the Knicks.
Point Guard: Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni vs. John Wall, A.J. Price, Shelvin Mack
Without a doubt, Wall is the best point guard of the group, but I like the Knicks depth much better. Wall still must improve a shooter and prove he can become the Wizards leader. Statistically Wall should have the best year of any of the point guards, but I like the fact that New York can run three veteran guards at the opposition every night. They get the slight edge here.
Shooting Guard: Ronnie Brewer, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert vs. Bradley Beal, Jordan Crawford, Tomas Santoransky
This is another position in which the Wizards have closed the gap. I love Beal and think he will be a fantastic NBA guard and I like that Washington can bring a capable player such as Crawford behind him. When healthy though, the Knicks have a very good trio of 2-guards. They will be much better defensively for sure, but I don’t know if they will provide the perimeter shooting that Beal can. He’s going to prove to be the best all-around player as he’s a good defender and rebounding guard as well. Because of him Washington gets the edge.
Small Forward: Carmelo Anthony, Steve Novak, James White vs. Trevor Ariza, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Cartier Martin, Martell Webster
The addition of Ariza gives the Wizards an outstanding perimeter defender, but this one is a no-brainer. The scoring ability of ‘Melo and Novak’s light’s out shooting gives the Knicks the decisive advantage.
Power Forward: Amar’e Stoudemire, Kurt Thomas vs. Nene, Trevor Booker
This is the closest position battle on the floor as STAT and Nene are both outstanding power forwards. Nene will play the 4 for the Wizards instead of his traditional 5 spot, Stoudemire is a better scorer, but Nene is a much better defender. I’m giving a slight edge to Amar’e, assuming he has a post-game now. If he doesn’t, Nene gets the edge. Overall though this is a position thin on depth for both teams.
Center: Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby vs. Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin
The center position is one of defensive dominance for both teams. Chandler and Okafor will make it tough to score in the paint for the opposition. I like the reigning Defensive Player of the Year though in this matchup. In addition the Knicks can bring Camby off the bench, while the Wizards don’t really have much.
Coach: Mike Woodson vs. Randy Wittman
Woodson showed how he could change the Knicks into a defensive team and is widely considered a good coach around the league. Wittman doesn’t impress me as a coach, but he has a little bit better talent to play with now. The difference is that Woodson has a great bench to play with and Wittman does not. Easy decision here.
Series Result: Knicks in five games
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