New York at Sacramento
Time: 8 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: NYK -1.5
(Opening Odds Listed)
The New York Knicks have lost nine of 10 overall and its past three to fall to 24-39 on the season. The team travels to face another tanking team, the Sacramento Kings, as 1.5-point favorites in NBA action on League Pass Sunday night. The over/under is set at 215 points, according to the opening odds. New York is just 8-25 on the road this season, but Sacramento is only 9-21 at home, as well. Neither team is in any sort of chase, save the “tankathon” to land a top pick.
New York Knicks notes:
New York has a much less rosy outlook with Porzingis’ career hanging in the balance. Porzingis has the unenviable task of rehabbing from an ACL injury, which is the type of injury that can cast a permanent shadow over one’s career.
Given that he was really the best thing the Knicks had on its roster since Patrick Ewing, Knicks fans are understandably crestfallen and downtrodden. New York is just 7-23 on the road this season, and the remainder of the year will serve as little more than a chance to get big playing time for the younger players on the roster.
Combo guard Emmanuel Mudiay came to New York Via Denver, and he now auditions with Frank Ntilikina for the point guard job. Although, the pair is playing extensively together. Given that the Knicks only can hurt themselves by winning games, expect Jeff Hornacek to tinker a lot with the lineup and just attempt to find things that work.
Center Enes Kanter will keep getting buckets, and Tim Hardaway Jr. is a threat always at the 3-spot but other than that New York’s roster is full of holes and question marks—and poor defense. The losses likely will pile up as the Knicks position itself for a high lottery pick, sans Porzingis.
Sacramento’s season has been one of tanking, but also in the mix has been the development of dynamic point guard and Kentucky product DeAaron Fox. Fox is averaging 11 points and four assists per game in his rookie season, but showing many of the signs of a future star, at least according to the eye test. Veteran Zach Randolph leads the team in scoring but averages just 14.8 points per game, and Sacramento averages just 99 points per game as a team.
Former New Orleans Pelican Buddy Hield has failed to translate to a superstar in his sophomore season, averaging just 12 points per game and playing 23 minutes a night. Willie Cauley-Stein has shown some promise as a defensive cog and has his nights offensively, but Sacto largely struggles to score the ball without any developed stars on their team. Randolph was once that but has declined quite a bit.
Sure, he is still an effective power forward and puts up premium production for just 25.8 minutes a night, but Sacto will be on the lookout for a star with its probable high draft pick in 2018. Given that the team needs help at every position, any guesses as to who Sacto will chase in the draft are a bit of a crapshoot. Ostensibly, the team has its backcourt of the future, but its frontcourt could use major upgrades, and a premier scoring wing also ranks high on the team’s list of needs.
Either way, Sacramento is now missing the playoffs for the 11th year straight, and the rebuild rages on even if it seems to utterly lack any defined sense of direction.