Beware of the Ides of March and the treacherous month starts tonight for the Knicks with John Wall.
Wall, the dazzling point guard selected No. 1 in the 2011 draft, didn’t beat up the Knicks like Stephen Curry did Wednesday, but he did severe damage last month and got the win.
With Wall scoring 21 points and getting nine assists, the Wizards knocked off the Knicks, 106-96, three weeks ago. Time for the rematch and the Knicks are not looking past tonight at a soldout Verizon Center, with Sunday’s gargantuan showdown against Miami at the Garden looming.
“I’m not thinking about Miami — there’s just one game on our minds, the Wizards,’’ Carmelo Anthony said. “That last time down there, we felt we should’ve won. So it’s a payback game.’’
The Knicks, who have won two straight including surviving Curry’s 54-point explosion Wednesday versus Golden State, have long talked about their ferocious March schedule — 18 games, 10 on the road. They already have fallen to the third seed and are 6 1/2 games behind Miami.
The March Madness includes a dangerous five-game West Coast trip. That is why coach Mike Woodson has told his club to clean up now — with their first three road contests of March against losing teams in Washington (18-38), Cleveland (20-38) and Detroit (23-37).
“I think we’re getting after things defensively,’’ Tyson Chandler said. “In practice we have time to make some adjustments. We have an opportunity. We’re going down to D.C. to get a win and then we’ve got a couple of big ones ahead of us. We have to go into this focused before we head out West.’’
Before their two-game winning streak, the Knicks had lost four straight and were on a 1-5 stretch that began in Washington on Feb. 6. For several weeks, the Knicks have struggled defending quick point guards and there’s none quicker than Wall.
“He didn’t do us like that [Stephen],’’ Knicks starting point guard Raymond Felton said. “But John is fast and we just have to try to do a better job of keeping in front of him. If we have to trap him and get the ball out of his hands, we will.’’
Knicks vow not to overlook Wiz
New York Post | Mar 1