Sacramento Kings begin eight-game road trip in New York


The Sacramento Kings are about to embark a brutal eight-game road trip. The first stop is New York City for tonight’s game against the Knicks, but before we dive into that game, I have a few quick notes on Sunday’s 110-99 loss to the Portland Trailblazers.

DeMarcus Cousins didn’t play, which made the loss predictable, but the Kings’ effort was certainly there. George Karl has this team playing better than either Michael Malone or Tyrone Corbin did when Cousins was out of the lineup. The Kings probably played well enough to beat a lot of teams, but back-to-back Cousins-less games against the Spurs and Blazers is just bad schedule luck. There isn’t anything you can do about that.

Andre Miller was amazing in that Portland game. And with recent reports that he’d like to resign in Sacramento next season, the Ramon Sessions – Andre Miller swap was a fantastic move by Pete D’Alessandro.

The Kings got outrebounded 43-33, and aside from the obvious talent gap, I thought that rebounding deficit really sunk them. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 rebounds, and Robin Lopez had eight, although it felt like he had 20. Cousins’ absence obviously hurts the Kings’ ability to rebound the ball, but the bench unit has always lacked size when Jason Thompson is the starter. That’s a big reason why I’ve been campaigning for JaVale McGee over the past couple of days. He played the best basketball of his career under Karl when he was with Denver, and when he’s right, he can be a very effective backup center. We’ll see what happens.

You can find our full recap of that game here.

Back to that road trip …

DeMarcus Cousins is once again listed as doubtful for tonight’s game against the Knicks. The Kings shouldn’t need Cousins to pick up a road win in New York.

The Knicks are horrible. I feel pretty comfortable saying that. Their roster is abysmal, but it’s not entirely their fault. Carmelo Anthony is out for the remainder of the season after having surgery on his left knee. Jose Calderon is out. Amar’e Stoudemire was bought out. You probably won’t recognize 80% of their roster. It’s been a rough year, and they’ve dealt with their fair share of injuries

And yet, they welcome the Sacramento Kings into town riding a two-game winning streak with back-to-back victories over the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors.

Andrea Bargnani is back in their lineup, and the Kings always struggle against stretch fours. Tim Hardaway Jr. is scoring. Langston Galloway might actually be a player? And it’s always nice to see our man Quincy Acy do his thing. It’s weird team.

It’s one of those games that the Kings should with, but they can’t walk into Madison Square Garden expecting to win.

As always, check back in to A Royal Pain after tonight’s game for our postgame coverage.

Sacramento Kings at New York Knicks

Where: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

When: 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern

Broadcast: Comcast Sportsnet California

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

More from A Royal Pain