Sacramento Kings v New York Knicks – NBA Betting Preview and Prediction
Knicks have been on the rise, if we can call their performance like that. At very least they have improved since they sacked their head coach and will now look to keep their rhythm as they travel to Golden 1 Center where they will meet with Sacramento Kings for the second time this season.
Sacramento Kings eyeing their fourth consecutive win
Sacramento Kings are entering their 25th fixture of the season with 11-13 on the year, which ties them with Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns at the seventh spot in the league. While a slightly underwhelming record, Kings are 3-2 in their last five and are entering their clash with Knicks on a three-game winning streak.
Looking back at their last five fixtures, Kings lost to Portland Trail Blazer (116:127) and San Antonio Spurs (104:105)(OT), but bounced back with three wins in a row against Dallas Mavericks (110:106), Houston Rockets (119:118) and Oklahoma City Thunder (94:93) this Thursday.
In regards to their match with Oklahoma City Thunder, Kings started off strong in the first quarter, where they gained a five-point lead (23:18), but fell off hard in the second quarter, where they got outscored by Thunder by 14 points (15:29). The balance of power shifted back into Kings’ favor in the third quarter, where they reduced the gap to only two points (69:71), which set them up nicely to finish strong and claim their third win in a row. And that is exactly what Kings did. While Thunder managed to run away and secured an 11-point lead in the opening minutes of the quarter, Kings put up solid resistance and managed to edge past Thunder in a tight match which ended with a final score of 94:93. Top scorer of the night was Buddy Hield with 23 points, six rebounds and six assists. Dennis Schroder and Bogdan Bogdanovic both scored 17 points, with Schroder contributing two rebounds and Bogdanovic three.
New York Knicks’ visible improvement
It has not been the most successful season for Knicks so far, however, there is some visible improvement since they let go of David Fizdale as their head coach. The Knicks will enter this bout with 5-20 on the year and 1-4 in their last five.
While Knicks lost to Milwaukee Bucks (132:88), Denver Nuggets (92:129), Indiana Pacers (103:104) and Portland Trail Blazers (87:115), they managed to claim their fifth win of the season on Thursday, when they bested Golden State Warriors (124:122) in overtime.
In their meeting with GSW, New York Knicks kicked off the match with a strong performance in Q1 (30:20), where they earned a 10-point lead, to which they added another eight points in the second quarter (38:30), meaning they were heading into the second half with 18 points in hands. The huge lead seemingly made Knicks feel a bit too comfortable, as they went down by 11 points in the third quarter (19:30) and an additional seven in the fourth and last quarter (25:32). With that, GSW caught up to Knicks and forced overtime. Despite their poor display in third and fourth quarters, Knicks put up a show in the overtime, where they ran away with a seven-point lead, only to see it reduced to two points. The match was close and while the visitors just barely won, a win is a win and much-needed one for the struggling Knicks.
Marcus Morris ended the match as the top scorer with 36 points, to which he added 10 rebounds and three assists. D’Angelo Russel scored 32 points, added three rebounds and six assists, while Julius Randle ended the match with 24 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
Verdict & Prediction
Knicks will enter this match without Wayne Ellington, while Dennis Smith Jr. is listed as probable. Kings on the other side won’t be able to count on De’Aaron Fox and have Cory Joseph as probable.
As stated before, Knicks have been playing much better since they parted ways with Fizdale and while they did severely underperform against Portland, other than that, Knicks started to perform much better compared to the start of the season. We like the style of basketball Knicks play now and we would argue they have a better rotation and better scheme compared to Kings, who had their moments of weakness in their recent matches.
The biggest concern we have with Kings is that they are still without Fox, which harms them greatly and makes them vulnerable to produce matches that are too close for comfort. Last month, when the two sides met, Kings won with 11 points to spare, however, they had Fox in the squad who contributed 24 points. This time out, things will be different, and while Kings are still rightfully the favorites, seeing Knicks keep this one within eight points is in our eyes a very likely outcome.
Prediction: Knicks +9.00 Points
Odds: 1.95 5Dimes