Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 4/9/13
Before the Knicks embarked on their recent most impressive run (currently a twelve game winning streak), the team was slowed down earlier in the season as Raymond Felton was lit up defensively by an array of run and gun opposing floor generals.Such point guards to have lit Felton up this season have included the likes of Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Kyrie Irving, and John Wall. On Tuesday night, when the Knicks make a run for number thirteen in a row, Felton will have a second chance to redeem himself.Wall and the Wizards will come to the Garden and try to put a stop to the winning streak that has seen Knickerbocker stars Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith earn consecutive "Eastern Conference Player of the Week" awards.Though Washington's overall season thus far from start to finish will likely result in another lottery pick for the Wizards to add to their collection of young guns, things at first glance can be deceiving.The fact is, since the return of Wall from a long injury absence, the Wizards have been playing as strongly as a borderline playoff team themselves. Boasting a 24-20 record with their star point guard back in the lineup, Washington has already shown the Knicks what they're once again capable of. What's more, Wall has, as of late, been playing at the same level as a bevy of current M.V.P. candidates. The guard has averaged 25.6 points, 8 assists, and 5.5 assists over the last ten games. The Wizards have gone 5-5 over that same very stretch.Wall has always been one of the fastest (if not the fastest) guards in the NBA. Now at full strength, he'll be a difficult speedy demon for Felton to keep up with.For the Knicks, this whole season has been about separating themselves from the pact and emerging as a legitimate championship contender. A big part of accomplishing such a feat has been taking down the weaker teams in the league and defeating the ones you're expected to beat. Washington undoubtedly represents one of those squads (the better the Knicks play, the bigger that list has seemed to become), but with Wall raring to go as he helps the Wizards finish the season on a dignified note, they could be a more difficult matchup than what New York is used to. Having already beaten the Knicks this season, the Atlantic Division's top team likely understands they must take such a game against Washington seriously.Keeping up with Wall, slowing him down, and instead making sure they themselves control the tempo will be crucial to the Knicks potentially securing a victory.
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