Tonight, the Memphis Grizzlies will welcome back Zach Randolph to FedExForum as the Sacramento Kings roll into town for a match-up of two of the Western Conference’s worst teams.
To get you set for tonight’s game, I spoke to Greg W., Associate Editor over at Sactown Royalty, SB Nation’s Kings blog. We talked about the Kings young stars, former Memphis veterans, Dave Joerger, and even a little Bob’s Burgers. Check out what Greg had to say below!
1. I’m a huge fan of DeAaron Fox. How has he looked so far this season? How has his ability to get to the trim translated to the NBA, and are you still worried about his shooting?
Fox has had a slow start, but he’s still been good and has shown lots of flashes of why he’s going to be a special player in this league. He started the season showing his ability to get to the rim, but has had to adjust as teams focused on taking that away. He’s been working on increasing assists and taking longer shots to keep defenses honest. He won’t be in any rookie of the year conversations, but I’m not worried about him long term.
2. Other than Fox, which of the King’s young players has most impressed you, and who are you out on?
I’ve been most impressed with Bogdan Bogdanovic. He’s an older rookie at 25 years old, but he’s been the Kings best player in many games this year. Just a smart, well-rounded player who does it all. Frank Mason is also worth mentioning as a guy who has impressed early.
I wouldn’t say I’m out on any of the rookies, but I’ve been most disappointed with Justin Jackson. He opened the season as the starting small forward after spending four years at North Carolina. While we expected a lower ceiling, the hope was that he’d be more NBA ready. He’s shown some flashes, but hasn’t been a regular part of the rotation lately. I still hold out hope for him, but he hasn’t started the way I had hoped he would.
3. What have former Grizzlies Zach Randolph and Vince Carter been able to provide to the Kings? Please note any slander here will be grounds for fisticuffs.
ZBo has been his usual self. Not much defense, but a master of old man moves in the post. He’s been a crutch for the Kings offense at times, for better and worse.
Vince has been fun. Every fan base should get to root for Vince Carter for a year. He still has some throwback games every now and then, and we see lots of video of him working with rookies at practice or before games. I love having him on the team.
4. One of the biggest issues with Joerger during his time in Memphis was his unwillingness to play young players. How’s he handling a roster full of them this season?
Three of the top five Kings in minutes per game are on rookie contracts (Bogdanovic, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Fox). Buddy Hield is a regular and productive member of the rotation, as is Frank Mason. Justin Jackson, Skal Labissiere, and Malachi Richardson have all had opportunities as starters. For a guy with Joerger’s reputation, I think he’s doing well.
That said, he does still lean on vets too often for most Kings fans’ tastes, particularly Randolph and Kosta Koufos instead of more minutes for Skal.
5. I know you’re a fan of Bob’s Burgers. Which Kings player would you say is each of the following:
- Bob: Kosta Koufos
- Linda: Buddy Hield
- Louise: Willie Cauley-Stein
- Tina: Frank Mason
- Gene: ZBo
Thanks again to Greg of Sactown Royalty for participating in our Five Questions series. Be sure to follow Greg and Sactown Royalty on Twitter for more on the Kings as they prepare for their rumble in Memphis.