Sacramento Kings vs New York Knicks

Mitchell Robinson and the New York Knicks play host to Harrison Barnes and the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, March 9th at 12:00 PM EST at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. The broadcast is available on MSGN and NBC Sports California; radio is available via KHTK Sports 1140 AM.

How to Watch

What: Sacramento Kings at New York Knicks

Where: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

When: Saturday, March 9th at 12:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): MSGN, NBC Sports California | KHTK Sports 1140 AM

Sacramento Kings (Away)

Head Coach: Dave Joerger {All-Time 238-236 | MEM, SAC}

The Sacramento Kings are closer than ever to claiming a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. They have a 2.5 game lead over the tenth place team but sit a difficult four games back from the Spurs and Clippers who are simultaneously occupying 7th/8th. With a record of 32-32, the Kings have a tough road ahead.

Unfortunately for the Sacramento Kings they haven't been putting together a convincing run of matches as of late. They are 4-6 in their last ten games and have suffered defeat at the hands of the Timberwolves, Clippers, Bucks, and most crucially the Clippers.

The Sacramento Kings have a bit of reprieve as they take on the New York Knicks. Fighting for ping-pong balls and not playoff seeding, the Knicks are almost giving up wins on purpose. The Kings must focus as the Knicks are the first team of a tough four-game Eastern Conference road trip that finishes with the Celtics and Sixers. Their collective approach must be clear. Win, or go home early.

New York Knicks (Home)

Head Coach: David Fizdale {All-Time 63-103 | MEM, NYK}

There is not much left to say for the New York Knicks' season. It's difficult to blame David Fizdale considering the assets he was given, but the New York Knicks have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. With a paltry record of 13-52, the Knicks currently have a 14% chance of acquiring the number one overall pick in this summer's NBA Draft. But first, the Sacramento Kings.

It's the same old song for the New York Knicks. They are 3-7 in their last ten games and own a point differential of -8.4. They've taken some decent wins over the Hawks, Spurs, and Magic. The record doesn't say much, but it shows that the Knicks have some hungry young talent that wants to compete every night.

The Knicks will be home for a night to take on the Sacramento Kings before taking off on another three-game road trip. The Kings are clawing for a playoff spot in the Western Conference and will surely be up to the challenge. One of the most interesting matchups of the night will be between Dennis Smith Jr and De'Aaron Fox. It should be thrilling.

What's At Stake?

The Sacramento Kings and the New York Knicks actually maintain a competitive rivalry. Despite meeting only twice a season, the Knicks lead the Sacramento Kings in the all-time series 35-31.

A win for the Sacramento Kings would bring them within 3.5 games of the eighth-place team in the Western Conference.

A win for the New York Knicks would do little more than lessen their chances at the top three of this years NBA Draft.

Questions to answer

Do they Kings have what it takes?

What is there to watch in the Knicks?

We are going to compare the Sacramento Kings and the New York Knicks in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Kings Have A Tough Road

There are many in the NBA that think the Sacramento Kings are in over their head. A young team with plenty of promise, the Kings are pushing to make the Western Conference playoffs for the (likely) honor of being defeated by the Golden State Warriors in the first round. It is difficult to say that is a goal to aspire to, but the Kings certainly want to show progress.

There are eighteen games left in the Sacramento Kings' season and they trail the eighth-place team in the West by four games. At first glance, the numbers seem to be in their favor, but there is some digging that needs to be done. The average team rating of their remaining schedule is .460, which places them with the fourth easiest remaining schedule in the league. Good, right?

Unfortunately for the Kings, the teams that skew that rating upward are the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, and Boston Celtics. The Rockets are a team that they will play twice. Not saying that is impossible for the Kings to win any of those matches, but in the worst case scenario where they lose five, they will all but be eliminated from contention. The West is too competitive and the Kings are entering a four-game road trip. Can the Kings prove the world wrong? They certainly think so.

The Knicks Are Out Of The Playoff Race

It was naive to think from the beginning of the season that the New York Knicks were planning on doing anything other than aim for the number one spot in the 2019 NBA Draft. That they would do so in such devastating fashion is another story.

When the New York Knicks faced off with the Phoenix Suns in their last match it was quite literally a battle of the worst. Teams with interesting young assets but a clear goal to compete in the future, not the present. So what is there to watch in the Knicks? Smith Jr is exciting and playing well, DeAndre Jordan deserved to be bought out to compete on a playoff team, Noah Vonleh has proven he deserves a future as an NBA reserve, and Mitchell Robinson is one of the most exciting upcoming centers in the NBA.

Unfortunately for the NBA it is bad TV. The Knicks were blown out by the Suns 107-96. Suns fans left in relative bliss knowing that their seasons cherry on top is Devin Booker and his phenomenal shooting and even more phenomenal patience. Knicks fans have less to look forward to. In the grand scheme of things is 82 games of abysmal basketball worth a 14% chance at Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett? Neither are LeBron James and the free agents they hope to court are just that, free agents until the papers are signed. Time will tell if the Knicks' choice to gamble was worth it, but for now, they can sit comfortably knowing there is absolutely nothing to play for.

Sacramento Kings Roster Notes

F-C Marvin Bagley - 28 Feb 2019 - Out (Knee) - The Kings announced that Bagley III is dealing with a left knee sprain. He will be re-evaluated in 1-2 weeks.

New York Knicks Roster Notes

G Mario Hezonja - 28 Feb 2019 - Out (Left Leg Contusion) - Hezonja will not play during the Knicks current road trip which concludes on March 6th and will be re-evaluated afterward.

G Frank Ntilikina - 6 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Groin) - Ntilikina did not play in Wednesday's game (Mar. 6) against the Suns.

Head-to-Head: De'Aaron Fox (SAC) vs Dennis Smith Jr (NYK)

Stretch out your neck muscles, two of the NBA's fastest guards are going head-to-head in what promises to be one of the speediest NBA matchups of the year. De'Aaron Fox, in only his second year, is leading his Sacramento Kings right into a playoff spot. On the other side, Dennis Smith Jr's team may not be winning, but he is having a career resurgence in the most famous arena in the world.

De'Aaron Fox

Point Guard | 6-3, 175lb (190cm, 79kg) | Kentucky | Exp. 1 Years

17.2 PPG | 7.2 APG | 3.7 RPG | 1.7 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.9 TOV | .458 FG% | .367 3P%

De'Aaron Fox is having an absolute season. Partnered with Buddy Hield, the Kentucky-product is wreaking havoc on the floor. In his last four games, Fox is averaging 15.3 points, 7.8 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. More notably he is looking incredibly mature on the court. In just his second year Fox uses his speed as a tool in the Kings' offense, versus mindlessly speeding into trouble like in his rookie season. If Fox leads his team into the playoffs, he'll be minted one of the NBA's brightest stars.

Dennis Smith Jr

Point Guard | 6-3, 195lb (190cm, 88kg) | NC State | Exp. 1 Years

13.6 PPG | 5.0 APG | 2.9 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.8 TOV | .434 FG% | .328 3P%

Being with the Dallas Mavericks seems like just a dream for Dennis Smith Jr at this point. While his team hasn't been successful, Smith Jr is looking impressive in a Knicks uniform. He's driving the ball with intent, dishing the ball to open shooters, and running the break with freedom. With the pressure off of his shoulders, Smith is playing impressively. He will be tasked with stopping De'Aaron Fox on the defensive end. His size and speed will be key in that matchup.

Sacramento Kings at New York Knicks Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Sacramento Kings favoured over the New York Knicks by 4.5, with an over/under of 110.

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