Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Did Justin Anderson have any extra motivation against Marcus Morris and the Knicks on Friday night?
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. Obviously, there's been a lot of talk about (Morris hitting him in the head with the ball). My biggest thing is making sure I go out there and whatever opportunity I get, making sure I play hard defensively, compete defensively," Anderson said. "And offensively, I told my brother, I'm just trying to kill. So I'm glad I played that way and maintained my composure and handled it like class."
Anderson had 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench for the Wizards, who knocked down 46 percent of their 3-point attempts in a 16-point win. Earlier in the week, Morris was ejected from a game against the Wizards for hitting Anderson in the head with an elbow and then hitting Anderson in the face with the ball.
Anderson hit 5-of-11 3-point attempts against New York. After the game, he said he didn't want to get into a back-and-forth with Morris over what happened on Monday.
"Basically, he threw the elbow and that's when I was thrown off guard and whatever he followed up with was kind of immature," he said. "But we've been playing our whole lives, it ain't nothing I ain't seen before."
David Fizdale said New York struggled to close out on Washington's shooters Friday. "We stopped guarding the three, we got too relaxed. You go from Game 1 to Game 2, the closeouts were a nightmare," he said. "For whatever reason we wasn't making that next step to get to him with discipline. And when we did get to them, we fouled them."
Washington hit 15 of 23 shots in the second quarter. One of the lone bright spots for New York was Morris, who had 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting. RJ Barrett had 15 points and seven rebounds in his Garden debut.
Prior to the game, Fizdale praised the No. 3 pick's intangibles.
"I feel like he's prepared his whole life for this. He's been around the game for a long time. Really just building himself up day by day," the coach said. "The way he approached summer league was fantastic and how he stayed with it through that. He's had an excellent camp. So I just think he's going to be that kind of kid (who can persevere/gradually improve) throughout his career."
The Knicks outscored the Wizards during most of Frank Ntilikina's minutes on the court.
He had five points, three assists and three turnovers. But the ball seemed to move more freely when he was on the floor. This preseason is pivotal for Ntilikina because New York has until Oct. 31 to pick up the option on his contract for 2020-21.
Ntilikina is competing with Elfrid Payton and Dennis Smith Jr. for minutes at point guard.
Fizdale criticized his offense, in general, for a lack of cohesion on Friday.
"I didn't think we got organized worth a crap tonight," he said. "The first game, we really got to our stuff. The ball moved, everyone was in our proper spacing. But for whatever reason tonight we were a little all over the place."