Knicks look to end skid versus Wizards
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The New York Knicks, whose offense stalled even before the season-ending injury to Kristaps Porzingis, host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night with their season in a tailspin.
The Knicks have lost a season-worst seven straight games to fall a season-worst 12 games under .500 (23-35), with no end in sight to their misery.
And misery it is.
"I wish I could make an (expletive) shot," guard Tim Hardaway, who has hit five of his last 44 3-pointers after missing all eight attempts in a 108-92 loss at Philadelphia on Monday, told ESPN's Ian Begley after the loss. "I am frustrated. Kind of in a slump right now. Just got to try to shoot my way out of it. Can't harp on it. You can't keep on letting it go. I mean, it's too many games in a row now. I've got to figure it out. My teammates are doing a great job of encouraging me every step of the way. I'm not going to lie and sit here and laugh about it. It's frustrating. Pissing me off."
Meanwhile, the Wizards offense seems to be surviving the absence of John Wall quite well.
Washington moved to 6-2 without their star point guard, who is expected to miss another 4-to-6 weeks recovering from a knee injury. The Wizards, who rank fourth in the NBA with 24.2 assists per game, had 31 assists in a 101-90 victory at Chicago on Sunday. They've topped 26 assists in seven of eight games with Wall sidelined, with four 30-assist performances.
Washington's five starters combined for 23 assists in the win.
"It's just a blessing to see everybody smiling, everybody out there having fun," Kelly Oubre Jr. told NBA.com after the team's 111-102 vicory at Indiana on Feb. 5. "Even the guys that don't score over 10 points, it doesn't matter. You're just happy to see the next guy play well. So that's what's going on here and it's a blessing to be a part of."
Compare that with the Knicks' own words, and the contrast is striking.
New York has scored more than 96 points once during its weeks-long slide, which was only exacerbated by the loss of Porzingis. Even with Porzingis, the Knicks offense had been in a funk.
Hardaway, who early in the season looked like a capable No. 2 scorer before a lower left leg injury sent him to the sidelines in December, has been a liability on the court for New York. He's averaging less than 10 points per game in February (9.7) and he's reached double-figures in scoring just once since recording 15 in back-to-back games in late January. Since Jan. 31, Hardaway has made only 24 of 93 shots.
"We're in a slump right now, and we have to shoot our way out of it," Hardaway said after the loss to Philadelphia. "... Everybody will clear their minds and re-energize themselves after this break. We have to go out there with a winning mindset."
Updated February 13, 2018