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Washington Wizards at New York Knicks: Prediction, Live stream, team news, betting tips, TV - NBA preview

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 03/12/2018 James Benge

The New York Knicks and Washington Wizards meet in London in January for the NBA’s ninth regular season game in the capital but before then the two Eastern Conference giants face off at Madison Square Garden.

Neither the Knicks nor the Wizards have particularly impressed in the first quarter of the 2018-19 season, though the latter have overcome a rocky start to roar back into playoff contention.

A post-season berth was never among the likely scenarios for the Knicks - winners of just three playoff series this millennium - particularly after star forward Kristaps Porzingis tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in February.

The Wizards, meanwhile, have proven to be one of the NBA’s most fascinating franchises this season. With an All Star backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal no-one doubts the talent in the nation’s capital but chemistry issues have plagued them for many years, leading to speculation that they could be active in the trade market over the coming weeks.

Whatever happens at Madison Square Garden on Monday night there’s certain to be drama… and Standard Sport will be there to cover every moment of it

TV, online and live stream coverage

The match is due to tip off at 00:30 Tuesday morning UK time (7:30pm Monday night Eastern time). There will be no live televised coverage in the UK.

However fans can follow every minute of every game this season on NBA League Pass, available for £184.99. You can also buy a day pass allowing you to enjoy 24 hours of basketball action for £4.99.

Teams in profile

New York Knicks

a man holding a basketball: allonzotrier.jpg © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited allonzotrier.jpg
Allonzo Trier has been a bright spot in New York's tough season Photo: Getty Images

The Knickerbockers’ hopes of ending a playoff drought dating back to 2013 were as good as over before the season even began when Porzingis - the 7ft 3in power forward whose ball skills and shooting led Kevin Durant to label him a “unicorn” - went down with a major ACL injury in the second half of last season.

Instead the Knicks have used the 2018-19 campaign, the first under former Memphis Grizzlies’ head coach David Fizdale, to blood youngsters and see how role players thrive under the Garden spotlight. It may not have brought many wins but there have been bright spots in New York.

Undrafted guard Allonzo Trier has been a source of energy each and every night, Tim Hardaway Jr has matured into the Knicks’ leading man and, most significantly, the front office still holds a draft pick that figures to be among the best next summer.

Wins may be hard to come by but optimism is growing over what 2019 might bring - another promising rookie and perhaps a superstar free agent. Speculation linking Golden State Warriors’ two-time Finals MVP Durant to the Knicks simply will not go away.

Washington Wizards

a basketball player with a football ball: gettyimages-1047887792.jpg © Provided by Local News RSS EN-GB gettyimages-1047887792.jpg
John Wall was handed one of the NBA's biggest contracts Photo: Getty Images

It might have been a few years since Wizards basketball lit up the NBA but their multitude of off-court issues certainly ensures that they are rarely far away from the headlines.

Point guard Wall is about to be paid like one of the sports’ best stars - the contract he starts next season has an average annual salary of over $40million - but hasn’t been playing like one for some time. With Washington languishing some way off the Eastern Conference front-runners there has been speculation that the Wizards front office would be prepared to trade anyone on their roster, even their best player Beal.

Key match-up

Beal vs Ntilikina

a man holding a basketball: frankntilikina.jpg © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited frankntilikina.jpg
Frank Ntilikina is a defensive specialist Photo: Getty Images

Shooting guard Beal has emerged as one of the league’s best go-to scorers and, as of November 29, is averaging over 22 points per game for the third season in a row.

His fine form has led to speculation he might be traded - perhaps to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers - but the 25-year-old insists he wants to stay put in the capital.

Facing up against second-year guard Frank Ntilikina will provide Beal with the perfect chance to show off his offensive skills.

Ntilikina, 20, has already proven himself to be one of the league’s best defensive guards despite his tender age though concerns over his shooting and ability to run the floor as a point guard. Still if he can shut down Beal the Frenchman might be able to ease the speculation that the Knicks are ready to call it a day on the guard.

Prediction

Betting tips via Betfair | UK users only | Subject to change

  • Wizards to win: 4/5
  • Knciks to win: 11/10

Click here for the latest NBA odds

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