The Knicks have picked themselves up off the floor. New York has won three straight games to get to a record of 13-13 as the Sacramento Kings (14-10) come into The Garden to test them Sunday night.
From Nov. 25 until Dec. 3, the Knicks suffered four gut-wrenching losses to the Blazers, Grizzlies, Bucks and Mavericks. Many were calling for the team to make some changes and a portion of fans were calling for Coach Tom Thibodeau to be shown the door.
Since then, the Knicks have responded and rallied off three straight wins over the Cavaliers, Hawks and Hornets. The wins over Cleveland and Atlanta are arguably the two best wins the team has had all season.
This three-game winning streak matches the longest one of the season and with a win the Knicks would not only have their longest winning run of the campaign, they would also get above .500 for the first time since Nov. 16 when they ended their long losing run in Denver.
The usual suspects of Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle have certainly played their part, but others like Mitchell Robinson, Isaiah Hartenstein and Quentin Grimes have all contributed massively of late. RJ Barrett’s big 26-point night against Charlotte on Friday was a sight for sore eyes as well. Now they will try to keep it going against a Kings team that is rolling of late and looks to be a real contender in the West.
The Kings are good. That alone might surprise a lot of people on the East Coast who follow the NBA, but don’t stay up past their bed time to check out the West Coast games. The Knicks will experience that for the first time this season as their young talent have grown into really impactful players. Coach Mike Brown has really brought this group to new heights so far this season and has to be an early NBA Coach of the Year candidate.
This is the same Mike Brown who has had success in the past as the coach of the Cavaliers during LeBron James’ first run with Cleveland and then as an associate head coach under Steve Kerr with the World Champion Golden State Warriors.
Sacramento are led by the 22.8 points per game of De’Aaron Fox along with the 17 points per game and 11.3 rebounds per game of former Pacer Domantas Sabonis. The Kings actually have six players averaging double figures so far this season. Along with Fox and Sabonis, former Hawk Kevin Huerter (15.6), Malik Monk (14.5), Harrison Barnes (13.8) and talented rookie Keegan Murray (11.7) all fall into that category as well. Some of these dudes might not play, however.
Kings-Knicks Sunday injury report:— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) December 10, 2022
— Obi Toppin remains OUT leg fracture
— Ryan Arcidiacono remains OUT sprained ankle
— De’Aaron Fox QUESTIONABLE sore foot
— Keegan Murray QUESTIONABLE sore thumb
— Terence Davis QUESTIONABLE sore back pic.twitter.com/3d9p2M8Fxk
The Kings have even more talent behind that and have the most depth they’ve had since the glory years during the 2000s. Real hoop heads will know, but the casuals might not realize that Sacramento has turned a corner this season and could be a factor when it matters most at the end of the season. They’ve won four of their last five, including wins at Cleveland, at the Clippers and home against the Bulls. This team is legit and the Knicks need to be ready for a challenge at MSG tonight.
Julius Randle is hot, Jalen Brunson and R.J. Barrett are playing well and the supporting cast is adding good things to the mix. Normally when that happens, the Knicks win and that is my prediction for tonight. The Knicks will make it four in a row and head into the holidays riding a high.
We will have coverage of the game tonight on the site as always so join us then!