Knicks-Wizards Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 05, 2013
New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler has a chance to accomplish something that no NBA player has done in nearly 10 years. The All-Star looks to grab 20 rebounds for a fourth straight contest Wednesday night when his visiting Knicks try to defeat the Washington Wizards for the 11th meeting in a row. Chandler has grabbed exactly 20 rebounds in three straight games to tie the franchise record set by Hall of Famer Willis Reed in December 1969. Before this stretch, Chandler hadn't had that many boards in one game since 2008. "That's what I expect," coach Mike Woodson said. "He can't tease me. He's done it three straight games, so I'm expecting it the fourth game." Three players have produced eight streaks with at least four consecutive 20-rebound efforts since 1985-86. Dennis Rodman did it five times, Kevin Willis did it twice and Ben Wallace was the last to accomplish the feat for Detroit from March 12-20, 2003, with five straight such contests. Chandler credited a talk with Woodson for helping motivate him. "He called me into his office and he said, 'You're an All-Star, you need to start playing like it. The last thing you want is people questioning that,'" Chandler said. "The next night, I had a different focus about me." Chandler faces a tough matchup Wednesday against Washington's Emeka Okafor, averaging 13.1 rebounds over his last 10 games. New York (31-15) completed a perfect five-game homestand with Monday's 99-85 victory over Detroit. The Knicks, who won a season-high six straight to start the season, conclude this two-game trip Friday in Minnesota. "We had to have these games and we approached it like that," star Carmelo Anthony said. "We took care of business and now we go on the road for two." The Knicks haven't lost to the Wizards (12-35) since a 106-96 defeat Jan. 30, 2010, and cruised to a 108-87 home victory Nov. 30 in the lone previous meeting this season. Washington, however, did not have an injured John Wall for that contest. The Wizards have won six of seven at home, with Wall playing in the last six contests of that stretch. They have knocked off top teams such as Miami and Oklahoma City at the Verizon Center, and added another win against a division leader Monday by ending a four-game slide with a 98-90 victory over the Clippers. "I think since everybody got back healthy and since I came back, I think a lot of teams start respecting us more and knowing that we're a capable team that can beat a lot of teams if we play the way we're supposed to," said Wall, who has 34 points and 17 assists over the past two games. Wall is hoping to see Wizards leading scorer Jordan Crawford break out of a major slump. Crawford is averaging 5.2 points on 32.4 percent shooting over his last six games. "We still believe in him, we still trust him as our teammate and he's going to come out there and you never know, next game he might go out there and have 24, he's one of those players who just gets hot," Wall said. Washington may have to play a fifth straight game without rookie guard Bradley Beal, who has been sidelined by a sprained right wrist.
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