Three Keys: Sacramento Kings (8-15) Host New York Knicks (10-13) On TNT


The Sacramento Kings rebounded big time with a win against the Utah Jazz Tuesday, and look to start a winning streak in their matchup against the New York Knicks tonight.

The Knicks are currently 10-13, compared to the Kings 8-15, and have group of solid players in Carmelo Anthony, Arron Afflalo, and surprisingly rookie Kristaps Porzingis. If the Kings are going to come out with a win on the national stage tonight (game on TNT), they must follow these three keys to the game.

Boogie Power: In the last three games, it has shown how vital it is for the Kings to have an efficient DeMarcus Cousins on the court. In the two recent losses that the Kings have had, Cousins has averaged 13.5 points a contest, while in their last victory against Utah recorded 23 points.

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With Cousins having a solid offensive outing tonight, it should give the Knicks defense some havoc. So far this season Cousin’s ability to make shots in the paint and from the perimeter have played a big part in the offensive success the Kings have had this season. Hopefully it carries on against the Knicks.

Stopping Carmelo: All-Star Carmelo Anthony is the Knicks leading scorer averaging 21.0 points a game, and averaging the most shot attempts a game as well with 18. If the Kings can play stingy defense on Anthony and cause him to struggle shooting the ball, it will cause the Knicks offense to stagnant. It will then force New York to rely on others to score, and although there is good talent on the Knicks, none of them can score the volume that Anthony does.

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Battle Of The Reserves: Right now the Kings bench is ranked 3rd in the league in points per game (40.8), while the Knicks bench is ranked 10th (36.2). The Kings bench will have to outplay the Knicks for Sacramento to have a good chance of winning tonight.

Obviously Omri Casspi has been upgraded to starter since Willie Cauley-Stein’s injury, meaning players like Darren Collison, Marco Belinelli, and Kosta Koufos will have to produce and play effectively on both ends of the court.

Final Thoughts: Although their record may seem harmless, the Knicks will give the Kings a run for their money if Sacramento is caught slipping tonight. With a great performance from Boogie, the Kings bench, and defense, the Kings should have the edge in tonight’s game.

In order for the Kings to make ground in the Western Conference, games like tonight against an inferior opponent need to be won. The Kings this season have been a bit inconsistent in how they play against certain opponents, and that trend cannot be executed tonight in front of the whole nation to watch. If there’s a game for the Kings to shut up the hecklers, it’s this one.