Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings
SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Zach Randolph #50 of the Sacramento Kings drives on Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden 1 Center on November 7, 2017 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night as they try and rebound from a loss to the Magic.

The Knicks were riding a three-game winning streak before minor injuries to his elbow and ankle kept Kristaps Porzingis out of their Wednesday loss to the Orlando Magic. But Porzingis is back Saturday for the game against the Kings.

After splitting their first two games, Sacramento dropped seven straight. Even coming off back-to-back wins against the Thunder and Sixers it’s been a rough start for the new-look Kings.

They’re understandably struggling while they try to integrate multiple new pieces. They’ve blended veterans like Zach Randolph and George Hill with promising young prospects like De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

The Knicks swept the season series against the Kings in 2016-17 when they were both different teams. The Kings are still terrible while the Knicks have begun to turn things around. Here’s what KP’s team can expect on Saturday night.


GettyImages 859319156 640x509 - New York Knicks: What to Expect vs. the Sacramento Kings
LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 08: George Hill #3 of the Sacramento Kings looks to pass against the Los Angeles Lakers during their preseason game at T-Mobile Arena on October 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Los Angeles won 75-69. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A Crummy Offense

The Kings are 14th in the Western Conference for a reason. They’ve managed 100-plus points in just four of their 11 games and their leading scorer — Randolph — is averaging only 13.6 points per game.

There have been only five 20-point games from Kings players this season. Nobody has even reached 25 points; Garrett Temple has the season-high with 23. Kristaps Porzingis has been dropping 30 points like it’s nothing.

Sacramento is 29th in offensive rating, 28th in effective field goal percentage (adjusts for threes being worth more than twos), and 28th in pace. Not only will the Kings struggle to score but they’re going to try and slow things down too.


GettyImages 859380166 640x488 - New York Knicks: What to Expect vs. the Sacramento Kings
LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 08: De’Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings handles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during their preseason game at T-Mobile Arena on October 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Los Angeles won 75-69. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A Rookie Point Guard Showdown

De’Aaron Fox came into the league out with more hype than Frank Ntilikina. He was selected with the fifth overall pick, and unlike Ntilikina we had already seen him play. NBA people fell in love with him when he beat down Lonzo Ball in the NCAA Tournament.

The Kings count on Fox more than the Knicks count on Frank. Despite coming off the bench for a majority of the season, the former Wildcat leads Sacramento in minutes. Frank is barely averaging 20 minutes per game. Fox is second on his team in usage percentage while Frank isn’t even in the top five for New York.

No matter their roles, expect the two youngsters — both 19 years old — to be matched up on each other at some point.


GettyImages 859291444 640x449 - New York Knicks: What to Expect vs. the Sacramento Kings
LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 08: Julius Randle #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers guards Kosta Koufos #41 of the Sacramento Kings during their preseason game at T-Mobile Arena on October 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Opportunities On The Offensive Glass

Sacramento’s leading rebounder is Kosta Koufos with a whopping 6.5 per game. Randolph averages 9.3 rebounds per game for his career, but this season he’s at just 6.3 in 25.1 minutes.

Enes Kanter has the Knicks ranked second in offensive rebound percentage while the Kings are just 23rd in the same category. New York is first in second-chance points, and Sacramento is 25th (via NBA.com).

Sacramento is dead last in defensive rebound percentage and 29th in opponent’s second-chance points. Kanter, Porzingis, and Kyle O’Quinn should feast on this puny Kings frontline.

 NEXT: Gritty, Defensive Savvy Bench Key Component to New York Knicks Surprising Start 


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