In a game of runs, the Washington Wizards outlasted the New York Knicks to pull out a 102-101 victory in the final seconds on Monday night. The Wizards’ Bradley Beal (who was just coming back from a leg injury) whizzed by Beno Udrih with six seconds to go for the winning layup, which effectively sealed the win for the Wizards.
The Knicks had a chance to win the game in the remaining seconds, but coach Mike Woodson neglected to call a time out and the result was a hurried, wild three-point attempt from Carmelo Anthony that clanked the side of the rim.
Nevertheless, this was a game the Knicks had and they simply let it slip away. It’s losses like this that sting and ones that won’t help Woodson’s job security.
Alas, here are six initial observations.
- The Knicks had fantastic ball movement on Monday night, racking up 21 assists on 33 field goals made while only turning the ball over nine times. If the Knicks want a more free-flowing offense, tonight’s game was a perfect example of how well it can work.
- The defense was clearly at fault. For one, the Knicks let the Wizards easily get out on the break, allowing 23 fast-break points and, secondly, they just could not defend the perimeter—which has been a problem all year. The Knicks allowed the Wizards to shoot 61.1 percent (11-18) from the three-point line. Martell Webster constantly killed the Knicks all night, as he made six of those three-point attempts, while also scoring a team-high 30 points.
- J.R. Smith shows a pulse. After struggling in the first half, Smith came alive in the second half and was instrumental in the Knicks building a late fourth-quarter lead. Smith scored 18 points (6-16 from the field) and made two-clutch three down the stretch, although it all went for naught. Smith also handed out six assists and hauled in four rebounds. It was an encouraging night for Smith and hopefully this is the game that gets him going.
Melo on @TheRealJRSmith: "It was good to see him getting his shot back, getting his confidence back."— NBA New York Knicks (@nyknicks) December 17, 2013
- Prigioni gives way to Udrih. While Prigioni has been great of late, he struggled on this night putting up a goose egg (0-3 from the field) while only contributing three assists in 18 minutes played. Udrih came in for Prigioni and played well for the most part, scoring 12 points to go with five assists. One major gaffe for Udrih was not fouling Beal before he got to the basket in the final seconds of the game since the Knicks did have a foul to give.
- After a few inspiring games, Amar’e Stoudemire regressed on Monday night. He scored only four points on 1-7 shooting from the floor. Hopefully it’s just a blip on the radar and Stoudemire gets back to the high-energy play he was giving the team earlier in the month.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. continues to excel off the bench. With injuries ravaging the Knicks, Hardaway Jr.’s play off the bench has been vital. He was at it again on Monday night, scoring 14 points (5-6 from the field) off the bench.
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