The New York Knicks are streaking! They take a two-game winning streak -- hey, for that team it's pretty good -- into Tuesday night's home matchup with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are 1.5-point favorites on BetOnline NBA odds with a total of 199.
Will Cousins Play?
The big question surrounding the Kings for this one is whether All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins plays. He has missed the past two games because of a sprained left ankle and bruised left hip. Cousins is averaging 23.7 points (sixth in NBA) and 12.2 rebounds (third) this season. The Kings have lost both without him, 107-96 at home to San Antonio on Friday and 110-99 at home to Portland on Sunday. The Kings are 2-12 overall without Cousins this season. Interestingly, the Kings reportedly made him available at the trade deadline. Obviously nothing came of it but that makes no sense to me (to be fair, apparently the Kings were willing to listen on any player). Cousins ranks third in the NBA with 34 double-doubles and leads the league in personal fouls drawn.
Sacramento (20-37) hasn't had starting point guard Darren Collison for the past nine games because of a hip injury and it's rather doubtful that he plays again this season. With the Kings having yet another losing campaign, there's just no point in pushing Collison to get back. He's averaging 16.1 points and 5.6 assists. Might as well lose as much as possible in hopes of winning the draft lottery. Ray McCallum has been starting for Collison. Andre Miller, acquired at the trade deadline from Washington, also has seen an uptick in minutes. He's a favorite of new coach George Karl from the Denver Nuggets days. Since Karl replaced interim coach Tyrone Corbin, the Kings are 2-3. The team is a semi-respectable 14-18 in games this season in which Cousins, Collison and Rudy Gay all started.
The Kings are 23-32-2 against the NBA betting odds this season and 29-28 'over/under.' This begins an eight-game road trip for Sacramento. That ties the longest since the team moved to Sacramento.
The Knicks (12-46) have the worst record in the NBA and probably the worst roster in the league now that Carmelo Anthony is out for the season and guys like Amare Stoudemire, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert have moved on. How bad are they? The Knicks have been (or will be) yanked off national TV eight times. This two-game winning streak is only New York's third of at least that length all season. The Knicks won in overtime at Detroit on Friday and then 103-98 at home against Toronto on Saturday. Their starting five in that Raptors game: Tim Hardaway Jr., Langston Galloway, Lou Amundson, Cleanthony Early and Andrea Bargnani. That's pretty funny. Could that starting five win regularly in the D-League?
New York has played the past two games without starting point guard Jose Calderon, the team's big offseason acquisition from Dallas. He has a left Achilles strain and won't play Tuesday or likely for a while.
This game originally was scheduled for Jan. 26 but was postponed due to expected severe weather in the New York area. It was the 15th postponed games in Knicks history and first since 2012 (Hurricane Sandy). The Knicks haven't lost a season series versus Sacramento since the 2009-10 season. New York is 23-33-2 against the spread this season and 26-31-1 'over/under' on NBA odds.
On Dec. 27 in Sacramento, the Kings were 6-point favorites on NBA odds (total of 202.5) and won 135-129 in overtime. Cousins had a season-high 39 points (nine in OT) as well as 11 rebounds. Gay scored 29 points and Collison added 27 points, 10 assists and a tiebreaking 3-pointer late in overtime. Anthony led New York with 36 points for the Knicks, who only dressed nine players because of injury and suspension. For example, former Knicks Stoudemire and Smith both sat. Last season the teams split, with the Kings winning 106-101 in OT at Madison Square Garden.
NBA Free Picks: This absolutely depends on Cousins; I like Kings for my NBA Picks if he plays but not if he doesn't. Sacramento is 4-1 ATS in its past five after a loss. It has covered just three of its past 11 on the road. New York has failed to cover its past six Tuesday games. The 'over' is 5-0 in the Kings' past five vs. teams with a losing record. It is 4-1 in New York's past five games.