W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings; March 26th, 2014

Posted by Kenneth Teape on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 with No comments
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

New York Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings

Pre-Game News and Notes

The New York Knicks will look to bounce back from possibly their most embarrassing performance of the season Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings tonight. The Knicks were handled with ease by the Los Angeles Lakers, and will look to get back on track with only 11 games remaining on the season and their playoff hopes on life support. The Knicks will have revenge on their mind tonight as well to help add fuel to the fire, as the Kings won the first meeting this season at Madison Square Garden. Here are some keys to the game tonight.

Match-Up of the Game: Tyson Chandler vs. DeMarcus Cousins

Chandler was non-existent in the game Tuesday night and will have to step his game up against the Kings and Cousins or else he will get embarrassed. Cousins is one of, if not the most, talented center in the NBA. He leads the Kings in points, rebounds, steals and blocks on the season, showing how great he is on both ends of the court. In the first match-up this season Cousins went for 19 points and 14 rebounds, even though he was unable to finish the game because of injury. Chandler had a strong game as well, going for 17 and 11. Cousins is prone to fouling, so if the Knicks can get Chandler involved in the offense through the pick-and-roll it could frustrate Cousins and get him in foul trouble.

-Player News and Notes

It may have looked like some players were injured last night with how they played, but the Knicks will have the same players at their disposal to use tonight. Iman Shumpert had been battling a virus but was able to suit up last night and should be out there again tonight.

For the Kings, Quincy Acy could return tonight after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. Starting point guard Isaiah Thomas is questionable with a right quad contusion after not practicing Tuesday. Thomas has been dealing with sprained ligaments in his shooting wrist, and it has been hinted that head coach Mike Malone may look to start resting Thomas.

-Give Effort

Last night the Knicks looked defeated, playing frighteningly poor against quite possibly the worst Lakers team in franchise history. The Knicks embarrassed themselves with the loss Tuesday and made an appearance in the playoffs extremely unlikely. The Knicks need to come out with more effort tonight or the Kings will run them off the court. The Knicks already suffered a loss to the Kings this season, so it would be common sense to think they will try, but as we have seen throughout the season nothing is certain with this Knicks team.

-Small Forward Battle

This could have easily been the match-up of the game as well, as Carmelo Anthony will be facing off against Rudy Gay. Both players are dynamic scorers and will be matched up together throughout the night. Anthony started slow last night, missing his first six shots, but he finished the game making his next 10-15 and ending with 29 points. He needs to get off to a better start tonight as the Knicks go only as far as Anthony will take them.

Gay is a talented scorer and has looked much better as a second option behind Cousins on the Kings than as the go-to guy. Gay can knock down jumpers and is athletic enough to get to the rim, qualities that can give above average defenders fits. The match-up between the two small forwards will be worth keeping an eye on as well as the center match-up.

-Bench Play

With J.R. Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire being inserted into the starting lineup, the bench has been unable to pickup the slack. Tim Hardaway Jr. has become the go-to option off the bench and teams are focusing on him more defensively, making his life difficult on the offensive end. Where the real problem arises is defensively for the Knicks bench. Hardaway Jr. has become a player opponents gameplan to attack; when he is in the game whoever he is guarding is getting the ball. The bench has become a weak point for the Knicks, and it was never more evident than when they were unable to hold onto a 15 point lead against the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth quarter last weekend.