Tonight we take on the Sacramento Kings, in an effort to win our 6th straight game. Pretty amazing, considering just a week-plus ago we were talking about staying afloat with our best player, Zach Randolph, for the next 6-8 weeks. But, after watching a very blue-collar effort on both sides of the ball, I think it's safe to say that we've found our footing in this post Z-Bo era.
Last night against the Pistons, not only did we hound them defensively, but after a pretty ugly start to the game, we found a nice rhythm on the offensive side of the ball, hitting jumpers, getting out in transition and showing some nice halfcourt sets. Tonight, against the Kings, we'll hopefully bring that same effort.
Of course we already have a strong effort to point to, having beat the Kings earlier in the year, 113-96. This, though, was the pre-Demarcus Cousins, slash, Tyreke Evans getting their sh*t together days. Now, they're a much more potent team -- on both sides of the ball. Still, with our most recent effort, our ability to force turnovers, and, more importantly, the size in the middle with Marc Gasol and Marreese Speights to force Cousins into foul trouble, I think we have a great shot at getting to six straight games.
We do need O.J. Mayo to help match the likes of Marcus Thornton in stretching the floor, opening up the offense in the middle with his outside shot. I don't necessarily fear the Kings as a defensive presence, as much as I do fear their ability to run us off the court. But, as we know, with the Kings it almost needs to be a perfect storm for that to happen. We've seen them far too often put forth a lagging effort -- for one reason or another. I think if we remain composed, strong and confident, we can show a Detroit-like effort and push the Kings out early.
It's hard not to like our chances, given how well we've played. You probably know where I'm going with this, but my prediction is this: Grizzlies 101, Kings 89.
Homer! Yes, indeed. But this time it's warranted. we're playing some great basketball, and there's no reason to believe that it needs to stop anytime soon.