Game 53 Preview: Sacramento Kings at New York Knicks

Mike Woodson instructs players on the floor during Knicks/Kings match-up in 2012. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 4:30 pm PT

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television), NBA TV (National Television)

Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (17-35)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Marcus Thornton
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

New York Knicks Projected Starters (20-31)

PG: Pablo Prigioni
SG: Raymond Felton
SF: Iman Shumpert
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler

What to watch

1. Can the Kings get out of their own way?

The Kings have played a like a distracted team during this four-game road trip.  The lack of focus has had its effects on their performance, particularly on offense.  Over their last three games, the Kings have averaged just 90.3 points per contest and shot 38.7 percent from the field.  The Kings have to get over whatever’s bothering them or otherwise face a winless trip headed into the All-Star Break.

2. Can the Kings slow down “the others”?

Kings minority owner Shaquille O’Neal likes to refer to the players surrounding a team’s stars as “the others”.  The Knicks are team that’s built around one superstar in Carmelo Anthony.  Stopping one of the league’s best scorers is a hopeful proposition, but slowing everyone around him isn’t.  The Kings, however, are one of the worst defensive teams in the league so stopping the likes of Iman Shumpert or Tim Hardaway Jr. will be no easy task tonight.

3. Three-point containment

All season long, defending the three has been a problematic issue for the Kings.  Against the Cavaliers, Sacramento allowed the Cavs to shoot 57 percent on 12-of-21 shooting from distance.  The Knicks are a team that’s relies heavily on the three.  Coming into tonight’s game, they take the seventh most threes in the league and are shooting 36.7 percent from beyond the arc.  How will the Kings, who allow the third highest 3-point percentage in the league this season, fare tonight in Madison Square Garden?

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.