Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYK

Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2013

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYK

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    The New York Knicks thumped the Washington Wizards 120-99 on Tuesday night behind 36 points from Carmelo Anthony, extending their win streak to 13 and clinching their first Atlantic Division title in 19 years.

    The Knicks tied a franchise record with 20 three-pointers versus Washington, shooting 56 percent from beyond the arc. They hit nine triples in the first quarter alone, a season-best for the team.

    New York was able to easily survive 33 points from John Wall, stifling the rest of the Wizards team and making this one a laugher by the end of the third quarter.

    The Knicks approached 40 points in individual quarters twice, dropping 36  in the first and then 37 in the third period.

Point Guard: Raymond Felton, B+

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    Solid game for Raymond Felton.

    He scored eight of his 10 points in the first quarter and ended up shooting 4-of-9 from the floor. He had a very nice, aggressive drive on one fast break, finishing with a nifty left-handed layup.

    Felton was also very proactive in getting his teammates involved, dishing out eight assists in 31 minutes.

    He did have a good amount of trouble staying with Wall defensively, but that was to be expected. Felton is not known for being a stellar defender, after all.

    Felton ended with a plus-23 plus/minus to cap off what was a good night overall for the point guard.

Shooting Guard: Pablo Prigioni, B+

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    Pablo Prigioni was solid in his 23 minutes of floor time, scoring five points and handing out five assists while registering a plus-11.

    Prigioni also made one of his great defensive plays on an inbounds pass early in the game, jumping the short passing lane and deflecting the ball off the Wizards out of bounds to regain possession for New York.

    He did make one blunder, passing out of an open layup on a fast break and throwing the ball away. But other than that, Prigioni had a good outing.

Small Forward: Iman Shumpert, A-

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    Iman Shumpert put forth a very solid and efficient effort, scoring 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting in 24 minutes and hitting on four of his six three-point tries.

    At one point in the third quarter, Shumpert scored eight straight points, canning two threes and knocking down a mid-range jumper off the dribble. He looked spectacular doing so, demonstrating just how far he has come since his January return from ACL surgery.

    Shumpert did pick up a couple of silly fouls, but this was a fine performance from the youngster, especially given the fact that he went scoreless his previous two games.

    The most important part about Iman Shumpert lately is that the bounce in his step is back.

Power Forward: Carmelo Anthony, A+

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    Anthony was absolutely sensational.

    The All-Star forward scored 36 points, with 21 of them coming during a scintillating third quarter. He hit on 13 of his 21 shots and scored in a variety of ways, hitting his trademark one-dribble jumpers, getting to the free-throw line and connecting from long range (3-of-4 from distance).

    Melo was able to get anything he wanted offensively. There were a couple of instances where Wizards defenders respected his one-dribble pop so much that they jumped out, enabling Anthony to blow by baseline and throw down two-handed stuffs.

    Anthony filled up the stat sheet in other areas as well. He grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists.

    And the most impressive part? He did it in three quarters, as he sat the entire fourth.

    This tear that Carmelo has been on has been unbelievable.

Center: Kenyon Martin, B

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    Playing in place of Tyson Chandler, who was resting a sore neck, Kenyon Martin energized the crowd with an alley-oop slam and a couple of big blocks in the third quarter. Then, later on, he had Madison Square Garden holding its collective breath.

    Martin turned his ankle and went down in excruciating pain, slapping the floor and struggling to put any weight on it upon getting up. X-rays revealed that he had a sprained left ankle.

    He was playing fairly well, though, displaying flashes of the athletic defense he used to play back when he was with the New Jersey (yes, New Jersey) Nets.

    Hopefully for the Knicks' sake, the sprain is not severe.

Sixth Man: J.R. Smith, A-

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    J.R. Smith was quiet through the first three quarters, scoring only six points.

    Then, he erupted in the fourth.

    Throwing down a vicious alley-oop dunk and hitting a bomb from long range, Smith scored 11 of his 17 in the final period, ending the night 7-of-14 from the floor and a plus-10 in 32 minutes.

    Smith was a bit sloppy with the rock, turning the ball over four times, but it meant absolutely nothing in the blowout win and grand scheme of things.

    Smith's Sixth Man of the Year candidacy took another step forward during the final 12 minutes Tuesday night.

Rest of Knicks Bench, A

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    Awesome game for the Knicks bench.

    Chris Copeland led the way with 17 points, draining four of his six three-pointers and hitting 6-of-11 overall. He also pulled down nine rebounds in 30 minutes of action.

    Steve Novak was on fire, scoring all 12 of his points on threes, and he brought the belt out after his third one.

    Jason Kidd had another one of his typical quiet, productive outings, scoring three points and grabbing six rebounds. His best moment of the night was when he rebounded an Anthony miss toward the end of the third quarter and then deftly got the ball back to a cutting Melo for an easy two. That type of play just epitomizes Kidd as a basketball player.

    New York's reserves scored 49 points on the night.