NEW YORK — John Wall sat on the bench in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter looking up at the scoreboard, his expression a mixture of confusion and disbelief.
The Washington Wizards were getting blown out by the New York Knicks, and Wall was done for the game. On the night Wall debuted his brand new gold Reebok sneakers, he turned in an especially poor performance, scoring just eight points on 2-for-12 for the floor, with seven turnovers and four assists.
“It was very embarrassing, especially in New York,” Wall said. “They’re the type of team that doesn’t stop, they keep the pressure going, and we didn’t come out with enough energy at the beginning of the game. Nobody found a rhythm offensively.”
Wall was hardly to blame for the poor assist total, since few of his teammates could make a shot. In their worst loss of the season, the Wizards fell 103-65 to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Friday in a game that the Wizards never showed any life in. The 38-point defeat tops the 31-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on January 13.
Roger Mason Jr., who played for the Knicks last season, kept the kept the game somewhat manageable for the Wizards in the first half, but just barely at 54-33, scoring 11 points. In the second half, he was scoreless.
“The way we played today was completely embarrassing,” Mason said. “The thing with this league is you have to bring it every night. That team [the Knicks] is fighting for playoff position, and we’re fighting for our pride. They came out and completely humiliated us.”
The Wizards looked completely inept on offense, shooting an abysmal 27.8 percent from the floor and had as many turnovers as they did field goals, 22.
The fourth quarter was particularly bad, as they didn’t score a field goal until 6:43 left in the game. For the game, Jordan Crawford led the way with 17 points on 6 of 20 from the floor.
“We weren’t ready,” Crawford said. “It was a lack of effort. We just [weren’t] ready.”
As for the jeering New York fans, Crawford said he could hardly blame them.
“How many times you see that? [There] aren’t too many times you see a team under 50 with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. If I was a fan, I’d do the same thing.”
After practice on Thursday, Wizards coach Randy Wittman joked that the team had a secret plan to stop Carmelo Anthony, who had 18 points, for a Knicks team that extended their winning streak over the Wizards to nine games.
In the end, it was the Wizards who were stopped cold from the opening tip. They will have to bounce back quickly, since they have a game Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“We have no choice but to be ready [tomorrow night],” Crawford said. “Tonight, it was embarrassing.”