New York Knicks vs Sacramento Kings
Game 20: December 4, 2016
Knicks 106, Kings 98
Mike Breen said it best, “Winning ugly.”
So after the Knicks took a 21 point lead over the lifeless-looking Kings from Sacramento, it all kind of fell apart. The Knicks would end up holding on to the lead and winning the game, 106-98, but it was not the most convincing win we’ve ever seen. Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony lead the Knicks with 20 points each, and Brandon Jennings had 19 off the pine. Kristaps Porzingis scored 15 points on his second straight rough shooting night, shooting 6-18 from the field. He also pulled down 14 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins sulked his way through this game and finished with 36 points on an awful 9/30 shooting, and Rudy, “get me the hell out of Sacramento” Gay finished with 22 points and 9 rebounds.
Takeaways from this game:
Lack of a killer instinct.
What exactly happened here? The Knicks were cruising to a blowout win, or at least that’s what it seemed like, early on in the third quarter. Out of nowhere, the Kings came back from the dead and went on a 16-0 run and cut the lead down to 5 in only a few minutes. The Knicks were lucky that they were playing a second rate team like Sacramento, otherwise the Knicks could’ve been down big playing the way they were. If the Knicks fancy themselves as a playoff team, they need to take care of business against the weaker teams in the NBA and show that killer instinct. Cannot let up even for a second.
I get that Lance only came back last game and he is probably a little rusty, but he should not have played as much as he did. I like Lance, I think he’s a good role player off the bench who you know is going to play hard and make hustle plays, but he was hurting the Knicks more than he was helping. He was 2-8, his shot looked flat, and he appeared to be a step slow. I’m not sure why Hornacek decided to take away the minutes Mindaugus Kuzminskas had been getting in favor of Thomas, but I have a feeling that experiment will end after tonight.
More Point Guards? More fun!
I’ve brought this up a few times before in previous recaps, but boy is it fun to have two point guards who can really play. Both Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings were excellent tonight, with the two of them combining for 39 points and 9 assists. Derrick Rose had his fourth game of 15 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds, the most since Jason Kidd in 2012, but Jennings in particular was effective in this one, as he continues to push the pace and keep the ball moving off the bench. Hornacek should look into playing the two of them together even more often than he does, which would lead to smaller, quicker lineups. If he plays the two guards together with the small ball lineup of Lee, Melo, and KP, we could see the Knicks play their own version of the, “lineup of death.”
Seriously, it’s enough with this guy. Is this guy a great talent? Of course, but the whining and complaining is too much. DeMarcus Cousins needs to get out of Sacramento (not breaking news) and start fresh somewhere. If the dude is unhappy, and your team is going nowhere with him, cut your losses, deal him for young players and picks, and move on.
Who has won 8 of their last 11 games? The New York Knicks, that’s who. The Knicks are looking to keep riding this wave of momentum Tuesday night against Hassan Whiteside, another polarizing center, and the Miami Heat. Another the team the Knicks should take care of before LeBron comes to town on Wednesday. 11-9.