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Mini Pre-Game Reconnaissance: Knicks at Kings- 12/31/11

I'm short on time today, y'all, so this is a mini-recon. A game thread will be up later, but I won't be around to watch Knicks-Kings with y'all. I'll watch it later on and have a recap up some time tomorrow.

What's up with the Kings?

A very thorough offering from Aykis16 of the most excellent Sactown Royalty:

Going into the Knicks game the Kings are coming off two disappointing losses to very good Chicago and Portland teams. In both games, the biggest weakness for Sacramento was the glaring lack of transition D. The team has also been struggling at hitting its free throws, although they've gotten to the line 91 times in 3 games. The Kings halfcourt defense has been much improved however with the addition of Chuck Hayes and John Salmons, as well as a renewed commitment by existing players.

The Kings offense has performed best when its guard rotation has played well. Led by Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton, the Kings guards are the greatest threat for an opposing team. In the Kings sole victory to date, over the Lakers, Thornton and Evans carved up the Lakers D inside and out. Tyreke's jumper is improved, but it's still not consistent enough to be considered a legitimate threat, so he still relies on attacking the basket. Marcus Thornton can score from anywhere however, and he's been especially hot from 3 point range so far this year, hitting 9 of his 18 attempts so far. Jimmer Fredette is a much heralded rookie and has improved in each and every game, appearing more and more confident each time. He also can score from anywhere. If the Knicks hope to win, they'll have to find a way to stymie the Kings guards.

DeMarcus Cousins is the Kings only real post threat, and while he's struggled from the field this year, it's obvious the Kings are trying to have him go inside a lot more instead of settling for jumpers. He'll face a tough test against Tyson Chandler, but aside from Chandler, I don't know who New York has that can stop DeMarcus in the post, other than DeMarcus himself.

The Kings have no injuries of note and should have everybody available to play. Tyreke, Thornton, Salmons, Hayes and Cousins start, with Fredette, Hickson, Thompson, and Outlaw acting as the main backups. Isaiah Thomas also will likely see some time. Donté Greene and Francisco Garcia have been mostly relegated to the end of the bench, and Hassan Whiteside and Tyler Honeycutt won't play at all unless it becomes a serious blowout. I could see Greene getting some more time than he has been against New York if only to provide a taller and more athletic defender against Carmelo, but Salmons and Outlaw, maybe even Hayes if Amar'e doesn't play, will get first crack.

Meet the new Kings!

Jimmer Fredette- "Fredette" is both Jimmer's last name and the term for one of his female back-up Jimmers.

Chuck Hayes- Chuck is one of five brothers. Chuck is the athletic one, while Round is the bravest, Flank is the smart one, Rib is most artistic, and Sirloin gets all the ladies.

J.J. Hickson- The "super secret signature breakfast burrito" that J.J. lovingly prepares for each of his teammates before shootaround is actually just the contents of a Happy Meal-- including the small drink, the napkins, and the toy-- dumped inside a tortilla, yet everybody loves it and begs him for the secret recipe.

Tyler Honeycutt- Tyler was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" and "Moistest" in his high school class.

Travis Outlaw- Travis is the first to arrive in the locker room before each game, and is therefore the one to turn on the lights. Each day, he's adjusted them to be ever-so-slightly dimmer than they were the previous day. By February, he expects the locker room to have the desired "club atmosphere" he's going for without any objection from his teammates.

Isaiah Thomas- Wait, WHAT? Oh. Oh, okay.

Adventures in Impersonating Jimmer Fredette on Omegle

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!

Stranger: india

You: hungary

You: are we naming countries?

You: nicaragua

You: ummmm guam

You: is guam a country?

You: i can't think of any others

You: oh, canada

Stranger: darty evreting

You: jimmer!

Stranger: u r girl is fucc need blick men

You: i am jimmer

You: i know some blick men though

You: i think

You: does blick = black + prone to licking?

You: you might like my friend tyreke

Stranger: u r evrey men is geyy

You: jimmer?

Stranger: i m tow time come u r contry

You: hi tow time

Stranger: what jimmer

You: i'm actually jimmer

You: i don't know who contry is

You: i am jimmer

You: i jimmer

Stranger: jimmer meen

Stranger: //////?????????

You: hey i'm trying to be nice!

You: tow time, have you ever been to utah?

You: i think you'd like it

Your conversational partner has disconnected.

And now you're semi-ready for Knicks-Kings!