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GAME 30 at New York, Preview & Game Thread

Audacity of hope aside, the Kings have a shot at winning a game tonight! After four home losses ranging from devastating to painful, ye old victory would feel tremendous... even over the Knicks.

SACRAMENTO KINGS (11-18)   101.0 ORtg (#18), 105.3 DRtg (#26), 95.6 Pace (#11)
NEW YORK KNICKS   (8-21)    98.4 ORtg (#26), 109.0 DRtg (#30), 93.7 Pace (#18)

The Knicks are sort-of like what the Kings would be were they healthy -- good offensive talent, abomination of a defense. Except the Kings -- injuries and all -- are better than the Knicks on all counts. Don't ask me.

New York can't defend the paint, can't defend small forwards and can't defend bigs. This 82games positional profile is particularly insightful: At no position do the Knicks hold opponents below a .500 effective field goal percentage. At only one position (center) do the Knicks shoot at least a .500 effective field goal percentage. At no position do the Knicks outshoot their opponents. This is remarkable.

It'd be an understatement to say Beno Udrih and John Salmons should score easily tonight; it'd be an understatement to say Mikki Moore could look like an All-Star. Zach Randolph can't defend the paint; Eddy Curry can't defend the paint; David Lee, God bless 'em, can't defend the paint. The Kings aren't the best suited team to destroy the Knicks inside, but no team is poorly suited to do so. (Sit down for this: I think Kenny Thomas could even drop 10 points tonight.)

Stopping the Knicks? Curry could only be stopped by Ron Artest when New York visited in November; Randolph can score on anyone. Lee will be the best rebounder on the court at all times (in the non-Justin Williams category). Jamal Crawford is a constant threat to score 50 (he shoots enough shots every night to get there; they're bound to fall at some point). If New York wins, they will score 100. (The opposite is not true -- the Phoenix game proved Sacramento, even in this state, can put up points, too.)

It's common belief without MARTINBIBBYARTEST the Kings must play perfect to win. It's not true... tonight, anyway. Whomever plays better will win, simply. My hunch: Brad Miller will have a 15/10/4 masterpiece, Beno will drop 20, Salmons 25+ and a Kings victory.

Game's at 4:30. Ko Gings.