The New York Knicks will look to continue their playoff push and further explore trade options in the upcoming week ahead. March 25th represents the NBA’s trade deadline, a day that the Knicks also play against the Washington Wizards for the second time in a row. After two home games against Washington, the Knicks will be on the road against Milwaukee on Saturday to wrap up the week ahead. Looking forward, here are some keys to success for the Knicks.
Week Ahead Preview: Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are absolutely atrocious defensively. They have the league’s fourth worst defensive rating and suffer the most points per game. The Knicks struggle offensively, so the Wizards present a favorable matchup for the Knicks to get back on track. New York has played recently without Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton, and Immanuel Quickley. The Knicks prevailed from Orlando without these guards but it will take more of a complete guard effort to defeat Washington’s star-packed backcourt. Westbrook and Beal will score their points, but if the Knicks can hold the supporting cast of Washington in check, they will likely win at least one of the two games. We’ve seen this season just how difficult it is to win both games in the two game mini-series, so we’ll see if the Knicks can get it done in the upcoming week ahead.
Trade Deadline Preview:
The trade deadline is approaching next week and the Knicks don’t really know if they are buyers or sellers. New York will need to figure this out in the week ahead, or else the trade deadline may be complacent. The Knicks could likely gain some kind of value for a player like Kevin Knox. At the same time, the Knicks would use another veteran wing scorer, and backup stretch big man. RJ Barrett and Julius Randle need more space to operate, and more shooters to pass too. Coming off the bench with a pairing of Rose and a guy like JJ Redick could be a massive advantage for the Knicks. The starting lineup is already great defensively, so the bench needs to provide sparks of offense. New York doesn’t need to sell the house for a guy like Zach LaVine, rather they should trade small pieces for older, veteran scorers.
Game Three: Milwaukee Bucks
The Knicks will close out their week ahead in Milwaukee against the Bucks. Throughout the first two matchups against Milwaukee this season, the home team has dominated. The Knicks blew out the Bucks early in the season, but just ten days ago the Bucks got their revenge and embarrassed the Knicks. This third game will serve as the tiebreaker between the two teams, in a matchup that could very well be a first round playoff series. The Knicks will use this game as motivation to prove to the Bucks that they will be a tough out come playoff time. However, in order to get to the playoffs the Knicks will need to handle their business next week, and for the remainder of the season.