April 15, 2014

With the Knicks on the brink of a five-game road losing streak, coach Derek Fisher is exploring changes to New York's lineup.

George Karl may be forced into one for the Sacramento Kings.

After opening this three-game trip with their most lopsided loss of the season, the Knicks seek a bounce-back effort against the Kings on Thursday night.

New York (10-13) has dropped seven of its last nine games, including four straight on the road while averaging 86.3 points and shooting 37.7 percent.

The Knicks were 7-34 as the visitor last season, and they're coming off perhaps their worst performance anywhere in 2015-16. They shot 39.7 percent and trailed by as many as 33 in Wednesday's 106-85 loss at Utah, only leading on Kristaps Porzingis' jumper to go up 2-0.

Fisher was concerned with the Knicks' starters - Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo and Jose Calderon - totaling a season-low 31 points.

"I didn't see anything from those guys that started the game," Fisher said. "This is three nights in a row for that group and we will have to consider if that can stay the same at the moment."

While it's unclear where Fisher could switch things up, Anthony isn't likely to be a candidate to hit the bench despite averaging 15.7 over his last three games and shooting 32.6 percent after Wednesday's 3-for-11 effort.

Porzingis wasn't any better with a season-low four points in 13 minutes after scoring 28 in a 104-97 loss to Dallas on Monday.

Anthony has 36 points in each of his last three meetings with Sacramento (8-15).

While Fisher tries to jump-start New York, Karl is dealing with a banged up DeMarcus Cousins.

"I think he has a back and an ankle that are sore," Karl said. "It's just the process of being a big guy in this league and the way he plays and the way he bangs. I think we have to be careful how we rest him."

Cousins fouled out Tuesday after scoring 12 points with 12 rebounds and six assists in a 114-106 win over the Jazz. He was averaging 18.5 points on 29.9 percent shooting - 3 of 19 from long range - over the previous four games after missing three with a sore back.

Cousins has scored 31.0 points per game with 12.0 boards over the last three meetings with the Knicks. He had 22 and 10 in a 124-86 romp in New York on March 3.

Rudy Gay chipped in with a game-high 25 points in that matchup after scoring 29 in a 135-129 overtime win against the Knicks on Dec. 27. The forward has totaled 43 points over the last two games, connecting on 10 of 13 from the field Tuesday.

Omri Casspi is looking to remain in the lineup for a fourth straight game in place of the injured Willie Cauley-Stein after scoring 19 points in a season-high 41 minutes Tuesday.

"Everyone in this league wants to start and play 40 minutes," Casspi said. "I'm happy to start; I love it. But when Willie comes back I'll be happy to come off the bench again."

You May Like