The Kings have not had much success on the road as of late, losing their last 12 games away from ARCO Arena, and they are currently 0-3 on this six game Eastern Conference Road Trip. But they have also been without their star and reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans for all three of those games, as he was out with a sprained ankle.
It looks like Tyreke will be back for the Kings tonight against the Knicks however, which should be a big boost for the team's perimeter defense. Opposing wings and guards have absolutely shredded Sacramento so far on this road trip. DeMar DeRozan, Nick Young, and Ray Allen (all players that Tyreke likely would have guarded) combined for 86 points (with Young scoring half that total).
The Knicks are a bit different from those teams however. Landry Fields is the starting SG, and while he's an extremely versatile player, he's not a guy that will be a go-to scoring option. Danilo Gallinari on the other hand will shoot the lights out and fortunately for the Kings he is still out with a knee sprain. Wilson Chandler has been starting in his place and doing a good job too. He's not nearly as good of a shooter as Gallinari, but he's a much better slasher and defender.
New York has also found some success as of late by starting Ronny Turiaf at Center and moving Amar'e Stoudemire back to his more natural Forward position. Turiaf hustles and defends well. He also doesn't require the ball on offense but will set screens and make good passes to the open man. He could end up giving rookie DeMarcus Cousins (who has not had a good road trip) tonight.
The Kings have been carried on offense as of late by the combination of Beno Udrih and Carl Landry, and they'll likely need them to keep up their scoring ways (as well as Tyreke having a good game) in order to win this game. Defensively, I'm not sure much can be done to stop Amar'e Stoudemire. He's a Kings-Killer, and always seems to have great games against Sacramento. I wouldn't be surprised to see the little-used Darnell Jackson get some time on Stoudemire tonight if he gets going.
Besides Stoudemire and Turiaf however, the Knicks have little size. This is an advantage Sacramento needs to use if they want to pull off the upset tonight. They need to force the issue down low and not play to New York's strengths by trying to match up with them and playing small ball. If they manage to do that, they have a much better chance at securing the win.