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Pregame: Wizards vs. Knicks

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Regular Season Game 3

New York (1-1) at Washington (2-0)

October 31, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 99.1FM


Last time they met was..

April 3, 2015 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC – Wizards 101, Knicks 87
Game Notebook 76


What to watch

HOME OPENER! This is our chance to let our guys know how excited we are about this team and this upcoming season. If you’re in attendance, pump up the volume! For the rest of us, it’s our first chance to see our guys play under a little pressure for the first time this season, all-be-it not a ton of pressure. In the grand scheme of an 82 game season, one home game out of 41 won’t mean a whole lot. Still, this team knows they have big expectations, and this will be their first chance to show their home fans that they are ready to live up to those expectations.

As for the Knicks? There’s Carmelo Anthony. There’s Meloo. There’s #7. And there’s Me7o. The Knicks have added a few pieces: Aaron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Robin Lopez, rookie Jerian Grant, and a few other guys we’ll get to momentarily. But everyone knows, this team is about one man and one man only. And when he’s rolling, he’s a BAAAAAD man. Yes, Melo is a ball stopper. Yes, Melo can stagnate an offense. But a healthy Carmelo Anthony is still the most complete, diverse pure scorer in the NBA. He can shoot. He can drive. He can take you off the dribble. He can shoot off the catch. He can stop and pull-up. He can finish with his right. He can finish with his left. He can play the high post. He can play the low post. He can spin in either direction. He’s a freakin beast. That’s all what makes his weaknesses all the more infuriating. In the era of pace-and-space and constant ball movement and body movement, Melo often stands out for the wrong reasons. He’s one of those guys who has been called overrated for so long that he’s now underrated. But a healthy Melo is still great. Let’s hope this night is not the night he reminds us all.

Key matchup

Early season rust vs. Carmelo Anthony.

The Wizards are a much better team than the Knicks. Even a C performance by the Wizards should be able to beat the Knicks, with one exception: If Melo goes off. Carmelo Anthony is one of the streakier players week-to-week that I can remember. He’ll go on week-long or month-long scorching hot streaks, and then go ice cold for a while. Chances are, Melo is either going to start the season on fire, torching defenders and defenses who aren’t in mid-season form, OR, he’s going to start the season rusty while he plays his way back into a rhythm. I’m betting on the latter, but I’m fearing the former. Did I mention Carmelo Anthony is really good?

X-Factor

Kristaps Porzingis! The Knicks rookie is a skinny, raw, 7-foot talent who could become anything from Darko to Dirk. Check out this video to highlight him as a draft prospect:

Fun right? Optimists will get excited about his shooting stroke and aggressive finishing. Pessimists will scream “Darko.” And Wizards fans will scream “Jan Vesely!” And if Summer League taught us anything, we know the refs will scream “foul!!” The best part is, no one really knows.

However, Porzingis clearly has skills, and if the Knicks give him playing time, he’ll be a hit or miss guy for New York night after night. In all honesty, Porzingis is really more a fun-factor than an X-factor. But we had to save that spot for someone else….

Fun factor

#KSLife!! Welcome back Kevin Seraphin! Our beloved Master of the Hook Shot will be back in DC, and you can be sure the fans will give him a warm welcome. Kevin is one of those characters that transcends talent, like Brian Scalabrine, and becomes a fan favorite regardless of production, wins/losses, makes or misses. Expect him to get a nice ovation when he enters the game, IF he enters the game.

Fun factor #2: Derek Fisher jokes. Ya’ll know the D-Fish, Matt Barnes story. Let the jokes commence.

Predictions

Melo shoots under 40%, but takes about 40 shots. Porzingis plays about 14 minutes and commits 4 fouls. Wizards put on a B performance and win big.

we are Hoop District

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