Carmelo Anthony spent his 4th quarter in warm-ups, cheering his teammates as they piled on the Wizards, launching attempts early in the shot clock.
And who could blame them? Their opponents didn’t offer much resistance.
The Wizards fell to the Knicks 120-99 in a game that was as ugly as the final score showed. John Wall put on another exceptional performance, but unfortunately, his teammates idled as he labored.
The Knicks started scorching early, hitting 9 for 12 from three point range to start the game. This trend would continue, en route to a total of 20 three pointers made for the game. There was Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Chris Copeland . . .
You get the picture.
The Wizards resembled an apathetic team tonight – one ready to write off this grueling stretch, and possibly this season altogether. Outside of Wall, the lone starter to crack double digit scoring was Martell Webster, who continues to slump.
The next closest Wizards scoring contributors – AJ Price and Cartier Martin – reached their totals primarily by jacking up shots during garbage time.
Tonight’s Wizards MVP was John Wall. Wall once again did his best to steer a struggling team, scoring over 30 points for the second time in less than two weeks.
Wall shot over 50% from the floor, using a nice combination of jumpers from the top of the key, slashing, and points in transition.
Nene: With the Knicks’ defensive anchor and other reserve big men sidelined with injuries, many expected Nene to have a good game. What we got in return, however, was a flat showing, consisting of a lot of passing out of post-ups and an overall lack of aggressiveness.
In 24 minutes of play, Nene took only 6 field goals and pulled down only 3 rebounds. He finished with 9 points on the night.
Carmelo Anthony: The NBA’s hottest player put on another show in tonight’s game, notching 36 points on a fantastic 13-21 from the floor. After a pedestrian (by his standards) 15 point first half, Anthony exploded in the third quarter, nearly outscoring the Wizards by himself. His looping finger roll to beat the third quarter buzzer capped off his nearly perfect night.
You have to give John Wall credit for playing so well when he receives so little in return from his teammates. In the midst of a 4 games in 5 nights stretch, Wall tallied 33 points (11-19 shooting), 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Despite a couple bad turnovers to start, he got the ball under control and only committed two more during the remainder of the game.
Wall’s performance is yet another reminder that he’s in desperate need of offensive help.
The combination of Nene and Emeka Okafor once again had a poor showing. Despite Tyson Chandler sitting with an injury, the duo started slow and failed to give a meaningful effort, even when the outcome of the game had been decided.
Each player scored fewer than 10 points and Okafor struggled early with turnovers, poor shots, and getting pushed around in the paint.
Considering the investment the Wizards have in their front court, this trend is truly concerning.
The Wizards surrendered 20 three pointers on the night and allowed the Knicks to shoot 56% from the floor for the game. With Trevor Ariza sitting with knee soreness, the Wizards were forced to rely on Wall and Chris Singleton as their best perimeter defenders, but the team as a whole allowed eight different Knicks players to hit shots from beyond the arc.
With the game well in hand late in the fourth quarter, the Knicks reserves in the game deliberately took low percentage shots that were not run out of set plays – and still made most of them.