Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings - Preview

Tonight at 7:30 the Knicks return home riding a 6-game win streak to play the Sacramento Kings. Last night's heroics are sure to have the Garden buzzing tonight, especially with a chance to get back to .500. However, the Kings have been playing a little bit better lately too.

A lot of people have been calling this week's stretch of games "winnable". However, in the last two, we've seen the Knicks go down by double digits to supposedly inferior teams, and have to scrap it out to win in the final seconds. You can never discount a team, and on the second night of a back-to-back, the Knicks will need a 48-minute effort.

Take the jump for some notes on what to watch for!

  • The Timberwolves and Raptors both played Jeremy Lin pretty rough out on the perimeter the last two games. By trapping Lin hard, forcing him left, and providing help in the middle, Lin's game can be slowed down. However, Sacramento is not a great defensive team (27th in defensive efficiency, 29th in points allowed). Likewise, guys like DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson can be slow-footed on the perimeter, so Jeremy may be able to find success at driving the lane tonight.
  • Last night we saw glimpses of some nice chemistry between Stoudemire and Lin. However, due to some rough defense on Lin and some rusty chains on Stoudemire, it wasn't a consistent effort, despite five of Lin's assists going to Stat. Now, with a full game under their belts, under a less impressive defensive team, we'll see if they can grease up that pick-and-roll and get her runnin' smooth (have you ever thought basketball analogy could sound that creepy?)
  • This point takes on two meanings. The most obvious: the Knicks can't afford to keep playing sluggish through three quarters and falling behind to their opponents. However, if they do, they have to keep their heads up as we've seen the last two games. But as Clyde always says, "playing catch-up is exhausting", and having to battle back late in games can really wear some guys down. The Knicks need a buzzer-to-buzzer, complete effort.

Sacramento Kings Scouting Report
 - All day long, the Knicks organization has been looking for ways to get Kings' rookie Isaiah Thomas suspended so that he can't come into the Garden, just for the sake of good karma. James Dolan is currently unaware of these efforts.

 - Because of their last names and the Kings relatively poor start to the season, Tyler Honeycutt and John Salmons are planning on creating a cereal called Honeycut Salmon Flakes. So far, Francisco Garcia is the only player who has enjoyed the test trial samples.

 - Rookie Jimmer Fredette has been pretty disappointing so far in his rookie campaign. He and his agent are hoping that Sacramento can't build a new stadium, so that the team can split the BYU court with the school's basketball team.

Tip off is at 7:30, ya'll! Let's get number 7! Go Knicks!

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