Knicks vs. Kings: MSG 10pm
The Knicks continue their west coast swing tonight in Sacramento to face the struggling Kings.
The Kings are jam packed with young talent, but they seem to never figure out their proper places on offense or defense. The Knicks will once again be without Rasheed Wallace and Carmelo Anthony. We will also get to see Jason Kidd run the point, which is truly a joy. Kidd will have a challenge defensively as the Kings have quick and spry guards who like to go one on one.
The Kings roster is stacked with young talent that is supposed to be good by now. Aaron Brooks and Marcus Thornton are high octane offensive performers in the backcourt along with Tyreke Evans, Isiah Thomas, and Jimmer Fredette. Frontcourt star Demarcus Cousins is leading the team in points and rebounds, but he was recently benched for a couple of games by Head Coach Keith Smart for his attitude. The frontcourt is rounded out by rookie Thomas Robinson, Jason Thompson,undersized center Chuck Hayes, John Salmons, and Travis Outlaw. The Kings are an almost exclusive one on one offense with Evans leading the team in assists with 3.3. They are the second worst team in assists per game. If the Knicks buckle down early, the game should get out of hand quickly.
This should be a good game for the Knicks if they share the ball and get open shots for Steve Novak and Chris Copeland. Copeland has been a bright star off the bench for New York. With Cope and Novak on the floor together the Knicks are very dangerous and the Kings are third worst in defensive efficiency, fourth worst in points allowed and tenth worst in opponents field goal percentage. This should be a good game for Carmelo to miss and have the Knicks work on an offensive flow. JR Smith has been nothing short of spectacular and I don’t see any reasons for him to slow down at all.
The Knicks are still struggling defensively, sitting at 15th in defensive efficiency, but now ninth worst in opponents field goal percentage, while 12th best in points allowed, but that is most likely because of the slow pace the Knicks play. Both the Kings and Knicks are top five worst in rebounding, so the Kings will not have an advantage there, but the Knicks must keep their guys in front of them, that is the key to tonight’s game with slower guards in Prigioni and Kidd defending Thornton, Brooks, Thomas and Evans. James White and Ronnie Brewer will need to really help to start the game and get the Kings back on their heels.
All Knick fans are hoping for Carmelo, Amare and Sheed to return on Tuesday night against the Blazers in New York, but in the meantime, the Knicks bench will get some more playing time together and look to go 3-1 on this west coast trip. GO KNICKS!
Sean Aquino @reactdrummer34 – Knickswag Contributor
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