The Sacramento Kings return home after going 2-3 on their most recent 5 game road trip to will face the 26-38 New York Knicks on Monday 3/7 at 7 PM in Sacramento. The Kings are currently 24-42, 13th place in the NBA western conference standings.
Play-In Pursuits Popped
The Kings are 4 games behind the 10th place New Orleans Pelicans for the final western conference play-in spot. The Kings are not mathematically eliminated from the play-in race, but with a VERY tough schedule going forward, it will be unlikely the Kings will crack the top 10 in the west. The Knicks are in a similar situation, they are currently in 12th place in the NBA eastern conference and 5.5 games behind 10th place Atlanta Hawks.
The Kings don’t need to try and tank, as shown by blowing multiple 15+ point leads on their previous road trip. In my opinion, Sacramento has A LOT to play for, regardless of their dwindling play-in aspirations. The Kings have a great opportunity to grow as a team, hash out their future shooting guard spot, see how Richaun Holmes fits in with the addition of Domantas Sabonis, figure out if Damian Jones has a future with the Kings, and maybe even a way to convince Harrison Barnes he deserves to shoot more than 9 shots in a game.
Previous Meeting with Knicks
The Kings and Knicks have faced off once this season, at the ‘Mecca’ of hoops, Madison Square Garden, on 1/22/22. The Kings lost that matchup 118-98. Former King Tyrese Haliburton was Sacramento’s lead scorer with 22 points, along with dishing out 7 assists. Former King Alec Burks was the lead scorer for the Knicks, with 21 points off the bench.
Sacramento shot terribly from 3PT range in the first matchup against the Knicks, 28.9%. Even crazier, they shot 50% from the free-throw line, 11-22. How in the world that happens to an NBA team is beyond me. This new-look squad will have to improve those numbers to have any chance against the Knicks as the Sacramento Kings return home for round two.
In their first matchup, Sacramento was without De’Aaron Fox. And post-trade deadline, have a far different team this time around. De’Aaron Fox has CAUGHT fire since the Kings traded Domantas Sabonis. In his previous 9 games, Fox is averaging 28.3 points, 6.4 assists, 51.8% FG.
Fox equaled his career-high 44 points in a close loss on the road to the Dallas Mavericks in their last game, Saturday 3/5. That loss was probably the best-case scenario for the Kings – a loss for draft lottery help, but overall optimism from Fox and crew, despite giving up a 19 point lead.
A Few Numbers for This Matchup
Defensively, the Knicks rank highly in the NBA in a few categories. The Knicks rank 8th in points allowed, 3rd in offensive rebounds allowed, and 4th in FG allowed. Offensively the Knicks rank 4th in total rebounds, 2nd in free throws attempted, and 5th in offensive rebounds.
The Kings rank 22nd in the NBA in total rebounds allowed and 16th in offensive rebounds allowed. To have an opportunity to compete, the Kings will have to improve in those areas and keep the Knicks from getting too many second-chance opportunities.
Sacramento Kings Return Home: My Predictions
I originally predicted this game to be a WIN for the Kings. And I will stick by that!
What Are the Odds
The Kings are currently 4.5 point (+4.5) favorites against the Knicks.
What Do YOU Think
I want to know what the #SacramentoProud fans think!
Go Sacramento Kings!
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