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Kings’ Afflalo enjoyed time as a Knick, though success escaped team

Arron Afflalo averaged 12.8 points as a member of the Knicks last season. Here he works against Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore in a Jan. 3 game in New York.
Arron Afflalo averaged 12.8 points as a member of the Knicks last season. Here he works against Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore in a Jan. 3 game in New York. The Associated Press

If he was ever going to have a scoring outburst this season, Arron Afflalo would have been fine with it happening Sunday against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

“I might do something tonight,” Afflalo said. “Have a little fun.”

Sunday was the first time Afflalo faced his former team since leaving the Big Apple. Last season was Afflalo’s only one with the Knicks. He averaged 12.8 points in 71 games (57 starts) last season.

Though his season with the Knicks wasn’t successful, Afflalo said it was “great” being a Knick. He opted out of his contract in the offseason to sign with the Kings, looking for a better opportunity and to be closer to his family in California.

“Playing for the Knicks is one of those things – whether it was good, bad or indifferent it’s something you can be proud of,” Afflalo said. “It’s really a storied franchise, the city is great and this environment is like no other. I had some good times, some bad times, but it was a quick, one-year run.”

It’s been a struggle to find ways to keep Afflalo involved on offense in Sacramento. He was averaging 8.4 points entering Sunday. He had three points against the Knicks.

Kings coach Dave Joerger said he’s pleased with Afflalo.

“He’s been terrific,” Joerger said. “Basically he’s a post-up two (guard) so he fits. We’ve got some ‘iso’ guys in DeMarcus (Cousins) and Rudy (Gay), so we can pick and go at matchups as we want to.”

Fond memories – Joerger said he enjoyed working with Knicks rookie Mindaugas Kuzminskas about seven years ago overseas.

Joerger said at the time he wasn’t sure if Kuzminskas, 27, would develop into an NBA player, but he’s happy that he found a spot with New York.

“He’s got great size and really knows how to play,” Joerger said. “He does the stuff, I don’t want to say our American kids don’t know, but the European kids just cut really hard. They go for offensive rebounds and still get back in transition. If a guy is open, they don’t look at what the name is on the back of the jersey, he’s just open and he gets the ball ... And he has an energy to him which is a little (Andrei) Kirilenko-ish, where he’s a big cutter, offensive rebounder, runs the floor, those kind of things.”

Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger has seen his starters struggle through opening quarters of several games, but on Sunday night vs. The Knicks in New York, it was the bench that had their struggles throughout the game. The second unit for the Ki

Not taking the bait – The triangle offense is often debated in these parts relative to it’s effectiveness in the today’s NBA.

Joerger was asked his thoughts on the Knicks’ offense, and if new coach Jeff Hornacek was using a lot of the triangle.

Joerger opted to stay out of the New York headlines.

“I’m not going to touch that,” he said.

Sacramento Kings center, DeMarcus Cousins, doesn't find it hard to stay encouraged as the Kings mount another loss against the New York Knicks on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Keeping a positive mindset, "can be a tough task," according to Cousins; and so

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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