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Dickstein: Knicks get visit from NBA's have-nots

Paul Westphal

Paul Westphal Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fans of teams with horrific records such as Sacramento’s, the Knicks’ opponent on Friday, find only fleeting triumphs by which to remember their seasons.

For the Kings (8-28), that moment came on Dec. 29, when Tyreke Evans uncoiled a last-second, 50-foot heave that beat the Memphis Grizzlies. As a Sacramento native with a memory of better times (and of mediocre times that were still a lot more fun), I like to think of Evans, the injury-ravaged reigning Rookie of the Year, frozen in that moment, a star of infinite possibility. That’s better than facing the depressing NBA League Pass reality of the present Kings, who arrive here on a 12-game road losing streak.

And so the resurgent Knicks (22-16), back from a 2-2 West Coast road trip, have easy prey awaiting them at Madison Square Garden. All the better to fuel a turnaround that has returned the local five from the NBA oblivion the Kings now occupy.

Sacramento’s roster, a puzzling heap of uncomplementary parts, has led coach Paul Westphal to try 16 different starting lineups. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, by contrast, has started three bedrock players — Raymond Felton, Landry Fields and Amar’e Stoudemire — all season.

Consistency and discipline: These Knicks have what teams such as the Kings — and their fans — have not.

On TV: Sacramento (8-28) at Knicks (22-16), Fri., 7 p.m. MSG

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