December 9, 2016, 10:20 am
The Sacramento Kings head home Friday night for a rematch against the New York Knicks. This will be the final meeting of the season between the two teams, with the Knicks winning the first game 106-98 less than a week ago at Madison Square Garden.
For the Knicks, this season is starting to head in the direction that they had hoped after shaking up their roster this offseason. The team has bounced back after a rough start, and have now won seven of their last ten games, giving them a 12-10 record on the year. Kristaps Porzingis has emerged as a primary option on offense, and the team’s bench depth has drastically improved over last season.
Here are some notes heading into the game:
- DeMarcus Cousins was very effective against Kristaps Porzingis, but his struggles that night are not likely to carry over into this game. Porzingis looked very out of sorts on offense, and while the pressure from Cousins certainly didn’t help the young big man, he seemed to get in his own way quite a bit. Cousins should still be able to guard him effectively, but expect Porzingis to have a better night from the floor on Friday.
- Cousins had an effective night offensively in New York, scoring 36 points and dishing out four assists, but Kyle O’Quinn appeared to have a good idea of how to guard him. O’Quinn played just over 13 minutes in that game, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get more minutes in an effort to try and stop Cousins.
- Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings combined for 39 points and nine assists in their last matchup, so containing the Knicks on the perimeter should be a priority for Sacramento. Rose was held out of the last game for New York, but even if he is sidelined in this one Jennings has shown that he can be a very effective replacement.
The Knicks have been playing great basketball lately, so this would be a good opportunity for Sacramento to prove that they can beat good teams at home. With an 8-13 record following a tough opening stretch, a win would put the team in a respectable position early in the season.