Tonight’s match-up with the Knicks was a perfect example of what the Kings will face most evenings with their lack of top-end talent on the roster. Kristaps Porzingis continued his MVP caliber play, and roasted a lifeless Sacramento squad for 34 points on just 21 shots, while sitting out the entire 4th quarter due to the blowout.
The game began well enough for the Kings, as the usual starters of George Hill, Garrett Temple, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Zach Randolph, and Willie Cauley-Stein jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead in the first 3 minutes, but the pace slowly died throughout the night and New York dominated the contest for the final 45 minutes while also winning all four quarters.
An interesting wrinkle was introduced by Dave Joerger to begin the game as Garrett Temple ran point guard to start the game, with George Hill playing off of the ball at shooting guard. Unfortunately, the change-up didn’t seem to actually help our veteran, as the $20 million invisible man recorded an anemic statline of just 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in 21 minutes on the floor.
Skal Labissiere led the Kings in scoring with 19 points, but the vast majority of his contributions came in garbage time against the Knicks bench warmers. He was ineffective when actually facing New York’s best players. Buddy Hield was probably the best player in purple, putting in 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Kosta Koufos led the team in rebounding, grabbing 10 boards.
Two other Knicks were also responsible for destroying the Kings. Courtney Lee was deadly from beyond the arc, knocking down 5 three-pointers on his way to 20 points, and Enes Kanter, the Knicks newest acquisition, traveled and rebounded his way to 17 points and 13 boards.
- George Hill was outplayed by Jarrett, I also played in the ABA back in the day, Jack. That’s all you need to know about our starting point guard’s performance.
- De’Aaron Fox had a rather quiet game, scoring only 8 points, and recording only 2 dimes, but the Kings didn’t seem to want to take advantage of his quickness in the open court. No one on the Knicks roster could have stayed with him if he wasn’t forced into so many offensive half-court sets.
- Buddy continues to look much more comfortable as a super-sixth man. He’s now averaging 15.2 points per game coming off the bench, compared to only 10.3 as a starter.
- Malachi Richardson was a healthy DNP-CD tonight, which was an interesting choice, given the blowout and the fact that he’s shown some flashes recently.