After drubbing the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night to the tune of a 31 point margin of victory, the Kings have come home for a quick stop to take on the New York Knicks before heading back out on the road to play the Mavs yet again. With a game against the Knicks only five days ago, in which the Kings were down by 20 points before a massive scoring streak brought the Kings to within two points with less than three and a half minutes to play, Sacramento players should have the sting of that loss still pretty fresh in their mind. Strap on your drama goggles and leave the bars if you see Carmelo and Derrick Rose walk in, because tonight is all about revenge. Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Friday, December 9th; 7:30pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140 am
For Your Consideration
Making His (De)Mark: In their previous game against the Knicks, Boogie Cousins had one of that stat lines that scrolls by on ESPN and you think “Damn, had himself a feast”. 36 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and look at that, not a single foul. That’s the DeMarcus we want! That’s the man we need! Ehhhhh, well, let’s hold on a second here, because the game at Madison Square Garden can look a bit more like a middle school birthday grab bag than it does, say, one of those Academy Award’s gift bag once you get into the nitty-gritty. First, and probably most importantly, that 36 points was done in a Kobe Bryant-esque 30 shots. Credit is due to the Knicks defense for bothering DeMarcus throughout the night and pestering him into shooting just 9 of 30 for the game, with four of those makes being from long range, where he took a totally of ten three pointers. A bit of a plus for DeMarcus was the Knicks inability to defend him without fouling. Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle O’Quinn, all had four fouls or more and while he struggled from the field, he was absolutely fantastic from the line, where he shot 14/16. Fatigue might also have been another factor in all of this. When your team allows a 20 point lead only to then attempt the mighty comeback that the Kings did, it doesn’t leave much time for your best players to come off the floor. DeMarcus played every minute of the second half and 43 total minutes for the game; a work environment not necessarily conducive for efficiency in the NBA. In Friday night’s game against DeMarcus, I would expect the same kind of defense to be played on Boogie, in the hopes of producing similar results from the field and taking their chances with him at the line. This time around it’ll be up to DeMarcus to pick his spots a bit better, and for his teammates to actually hit shots and free up the floor for him a bit more. Here’s to not getting down twenty this game as well; now excuse me while I go knock on some wood somewhere.
Kings Focus: The Kings really have a lot that they can look at from their previous game against the Knicks and ponder just what the heck happened. First off, the combined point guard spot of Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings had 39 points on 14/21 shooting. Derrick Rose himself had 10 points and 3 assists in the first quarter on 5/6 shooting while the Kings not named DeMarcus shot 2/12 and scored a total of 7 points. I know teams have off nights, and I know that the Kings are an especially slow team right out of the gate but that kind of scoring discrepancy just can’t be. A professional basketball team cannot shoot 29% from the field in the first half of their game and then have any expectation to win. The Knicks have the fifth lowest defensive rating in the league, and allow the seventh most points for opponents in the league. So really, the Kings cannot allow for role players to take over the game early, and have to shoot better against a team that is lacking on the defensive end of the court. That’s it, really. Make the shots that the defense gives you, especially in the first half and then when you aren’t down by twenty points in the second half, go on your run and win the game down the stretch.
Prediction: Darren Collison challenges Derrick Rose to a foot race before the game, in which, Rose takes three steps and comes up hobbling. Collison then sneaks a binder entitled “The Jennings Rules” into Brandon Jennings locker, detailing plans to defend the Knicks best player and pondering why the Knicks didn’t see him as the brightest star on the roster.
After a 7/30 first half from the field, Brandon Jennings is benched in favor of Justin Holiday, and the Kings take advantage and open up a big lead, to which Carmelo shrugs and sits for the remained of the night.
Kings: 110, Knicks: 101