Knicks Look To Steal A Win From Fox-Less Kings: New York vs. Sacramento Preview

Photo via Brad Penner- USA Today Sports and posting and toasting

Knicks vs. Kings Preview

The New York Knicks (5-20) will be on the road, facing the Sacramento Kings (11-13) at 10:00pm Eastern Time. The Kings are listed as 8.5 point favorites, despite being without their best player, De’Aaron Fox.

Starting Lineups- With 2 Attributes That Will Be Impactful Tonight (Strength, Weakness)

PositionNew York KnicksSacramento Kings
PGFrank Ntilikina (defense, scoring)Cory Joseph (facilitating, scoring)
SGRJ Barrett (driving, shooting)Buddy Hield (scoring/3 point shooting, turnovers)
SFMarcus Morris Sr. (3 point shooting, fouling)Harrison Barnes (defense/shooting, driving/facilitating)
PFJulius Randle (interior scoring, turnovers)Nemanja Bjelica (3 point shooting, fouling)
CTaj Gibson (rebounding, shooting)Richaun Holmes (interior defense/athleticism, fouling)

Matchup Of The Night

RJ Barrett vs. Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield (21.5 points per game) is your typical scoring, shooting guard. Hield can score on all three levels, but does the majority of his damage from downtown. Hield is shooting 37.2% from three this season, while taking a massive 10.5 attempts from three, per game. Hield has had issues with turnover this season, averaging 2.5 per game, and is also a subpar defender. RJ Barrett who is an extremely different kind of shooting guard, will look to take advantage of Hield’s struggles. Barrett is averaging 14.3 points and 1.3 steals per game, this season. Barrett is a very good facilitator, as he is averaging 3.1 assists per game and does a great job driving into the paint. Barrett’s struggles have been shooting (39.3% FG, 32.1% 3P, 54.6% FT) and contesting the three-point line. Barrett may have a chance to boost his shooting numbers against the shaky-defending Hield, but will need to focus his energy towards guarding Hield and moving him off the three-point line. Hield will be Sacramento’s go-to guy tonight, with Fox missing the game. Hield can erupt at any moment and it will be crucial for Barrett and the Knicks to keep him from getting hot. 

Inactives

Knicks- Wayne Ellington, Allonzo Trier, and Reggie Bullock

Kings- De’Aaron Fox

Key Statistics

  1. The Kings are 27th in the NBA in points per game (105.2). The Knicks are last in the NBA in points per game (101).
  2. Sacramento is 11th in the NBA, attempting 34.9 three-pointers per game. New York is 24th in the NBA, attempting 30.3 three-pointers per game.
  3. The Knicks are 5th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game (25.5). The Kings are last in the NBA in free throw attempts per game (18.8).
  4. New York is 1st in the NBA in offensive rebounding, averaging 12 per game. Sacramento is 28th in the NBA in defensive rebounding, averaging 31.8 per game.
  5. Sacramento is 16th in the NBA, committing 21.6 personal fouls per game. New York is last in the NBA, committing 23.2 personal fouls per game.
  6. The Knicks are 26th in the NBA in Pace (98.81). The Kings are 29th in the NBA in Pace (97.94).
  7. Sacramento scores 41.8 points in the paint per game, 29th in the NBA. New York scores 41.1 points in the paint per game, last in the NBA.
  8. The Kings only surrender 10.5 fast break points to opponents per game, leading the NBA. The Knicks give up 13.9 fast break points per game, 22nd in the NBA.
  9. The Knicks are 4th in the NBA, only allowing 42.6 points in the paint per game. The Kings are 9th in the NBA, allowing 46 points in the paint per game.
  10. New York is 4th in the NBA, with 45.3% of their made field goals being unassisted. Sacramento is 9th in the NBA, with 42.9% of their made field goals being unassisted.

Keys To Winning

The Knicks will look to cover the three-point line (especially Hield, Bogdanovic, Barnes, and Bjelica), get to the free throw line (attacking Bjelica, Holmes, and Bagley), and win the battle of the boards, to pull out their 2nd straight victory. Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic are tremendous scorers that can take over a game. The Knicks will need to cover them at all costs and force the other Sacramento players to beat them. New York will rely heavily on Elfrid Payton to help the Knicks inconsistent bench, score and keep up with the Bogdanovic/Bagley led, King’s bench. Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Mitchell Robinson should have an easy time scoring inside when Holmes (the Kings top shot blocker, 1.4 per game) goes to the bench. Tonight the Knicks offense will likely run through Morris Sr. and Barrett for the majority of the game.

The Knicks will look to cover the three-point line (especially Hield, Bogdanovic, Barnes, and Bjelica), get to the free throw line (attacking Bjelica, Holmes, and Bagley), and win the battle of the boards (especially grabbing offensive rebounds), to pull out their 2nd straight victory. Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic are tremendous scorers that can take over a game. The Knicks will need to cover them at all costs and force the other Sacramento players to beat them. New York will rely heavily on Elfrid Payton to help the Knicks inconsistent bench, score and keep up with the Bogdanovic/Bagley led, Kings’ bench. Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Mitchell Robinson should have an easy time scoring inside, when Holmes (the Kings top shot blocker, 1.4 per game) goes to the bench. Tonight, the Knicks offense will likely run through Morris Sr. and Barrett for the majority of the game.

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