With 14 games left in the 2015-2016 season, the Sacramento Kings are in an absolute freefall. Putting aside the rumors of coaches in exile and locker rooms in chaos, the on-court product has been just as bad, if not worse, than the coaching, management, and ownership problems the Kings are rumored to have. The boys in purple have only 2 wins in their last 13 games, and their play most of the time accurately reflects a team deserving of that record. This current iteration of the Kings has no reason to fight for games, only for individual stats, showcasing for future employers, or because they're still contractually obligated to sit on the bench and not try to actively sabotage the team.
And so with being said, Sunday afternoon's match up sees the Sacramento Kings take on the New York Knicks. With the third worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks welcome Sacramento into Madison Square Garden with two more wins on the season than their West Coast competition. This game starts at 4:30pm PST and can be seen on CSN-CA and NBATV and can be heard on KHTK 1140. Let's talk Kings basketball.
Knicks by the Numbers:
The New York Knicks are not a very good basketball team. Led by Carmelo Anthony, and backed by rookie power forward Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks are a team that isn't exactly sure what it wants to be. With Melo, Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez and others, they aren't exactly building upon a youthful core, but GM Phil Jackson also doesn't have enough impact veterans employed to make any sort of noise in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks score the ball at just under 99 points a game; sixth worst in the league and operate at the seventh lowest pace in the NBA. The Knicks are 23rd in the league in total and three point percentages, and also in free throws attempted per game. They're also 24th in the league in assists.
On the defensive end, the Knicks hold teams to 101.6 points a game, good for 12th in the NBA. They allow teams to shoot only 34% from behind the arc, putting them at 7th in the league, and though they give up the fourth most amount of two point shots, they hold teams to 48.1%; 11th in the league in that category. The Knicks are 8th in the league in blocks, and dead last in steals all while forcing teams to commit only 11.4 turnovers a game, last in the NBA in that category. The talent that has been assembled for the Sacramento franchise should be more than enough to beat the Knicks. They play slow, don't shoot well from anywhere and don't seem to share the ball very well. This team and this game was one that the Kings would have died to play when they were coming off of their 5 game win streak and now they've gotten their wish; the Kings are dead, and here now is the game they were promised.
Odds and Ends: This game against the Knicks sees the Kings facing up against former small foward/power forward, Derrick Williams. Williams, who signed a two year, 10 million dollar contract with the Knicks this summer, is playing in his second lowest amount of minutes this season at 16 per game, and still has that hair style. You know, that one.
Prediction: Kings find a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and beat the hometown heroes, 110-105.
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