The Kings end their four game homestand tonight against the New York Knicks (7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140). The Knicks recently came off an 8 game winning streak, but are still a few games back of the Atlanta Hawks for the 8th seed in the East. As such, they'll be treating this game as a must-win.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Rudy Gay vs. Carmelo Anthony
Few players have been playing as well as Carmelo Anthony recently. Anthony is putting up almost 30 points a game on 45% shooting, and he's also rebounding and passing the ball well. I personally think the Knicks are most dangerous when Anthony is playing Power Forward, as he creates an incredible mismatch opportunity. Gay did not have the best game the last time these two teams met, scoring 20 points on 22 shots, and most of that coming in the second half and overtime. Gay will have to do a much better job of containing Anthony if the Kings are to win the game.
1. Isaiah Thomas is questionable for tonight's game with a thigh contusion, sustained when taking a knee from Zaza Pachulia in the last game against the Bucks. Thomas has yet to miss a game this season, and should he sit, that means we will be seeing a lot of Ray McCallum and probably also Rudy playing Point Forward, because as of right now those are the only two guys aside from Thomas that can reliably handle the ball. McCallum is coming off perhaps the worst stint in his career, going -17 in a game the Kings were up by 40 with Sacramento's offense looking completely out of sync, and that was against the Bucks. The Knicks aren't great, but they're still way better than the Bucks. To be honest, I'm kind of worried. Still, seeing the Kings play without Thomas might convince the Kings to re-sign him more than by seeing the team play with him, given our other options.
2. Coach Malone said in his most recent media availability that he wants to give Royce White a chance tonight, and not one where it's just garbage time. He made a solid point that playing a guy during a blowout doesn't mean much, but then again, not playing him at all means you can't see anything. I'll be interested to see how much time White is given. Without Thomas, another passer might be necessary.
3. Can Sacramento's bench step up please? The bench has been miserable for a while now and it shouldn't be. Jason Thompson is a solid big man. Derrick Williams has shown he can score in this league. Those guys should be looking to prove that they can lead this bench, especially Williams.
Why can't they be pantaloons,
or even trousers?
Kings 84, Knicks 124 as without Isaiah Thomas, the Kings have literally nobody they can trust to run the offense.