WHEN: 9:00 PM CT
WHERE: Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS- Kyle Anderson (Probable, ankle), Mike Conley (Probable, hamstring), Omri Casspi (Questionable, illness), JaMychal Green (Questionable, hamstring), Joakim Noah (Questionable, heel), Chandler Parsons (Out, return from injury management?), Dillon Brooks (Out, knee)
SACRAMENTO- Bogdan Bogdanovic (Questionable, foot), Iman Shumpter (Questionable, hip), Marvin Bagley (Out, knee)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marc Gasol
SACRAMENTO: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Justin Jackson, Nemanja Belinca, Willie Cauley-Stein
The Grizzlies continue their West coast road trip on the heels of a 4 game losing streak. Once upon a time a trip to visit the Kings in Sacramento was a temporary cure for all of your teams problems, but not this year. The Kings have been one of the more fun and surprising teams in the league so far this season, behind a handful of young players. The Kings are on a losing streak of their own, after being blown out by both Minnesota and Oklahoma City their past two games.
Both teams will be looking to get back on track tonight, here’s what the Grizzlies need to do to ensure they’re the ones who get it together.
What Does the Fox Say?
People have compared De’Aaron Fox to Mike Conley for the past two years when discussing Fox’s NBA potential. Not a bad comparison, unless your Fox who had this to say in November after the Grizzlies defeated the Kings.
"I just think I'm so much more athletic" -Fox on being compared to Conley pic.twitter.com/FbNavuuVCD— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 17, 2018
Fox isn’t really wrong in stating he’s more athletic, because he is, but Conley should still use Fox’s comments as extra motivation to come out and show the young point guard how good he is. Containing Fox won’t be easy, but if Conley can match his production it would be a good sign for the Grizzlies.
Get in a Flow Offensively
The Kings have given up over 120 points to their opponents in 4 of their past 5 games, which isn’t great. Meanwhile the Grizzlies haven’t scored over 100 points in 7 straight games. Something has to give, right? We already know how good the Grizzlies are defensively and how they struggle on the offensive end. A matchup against a poor defensive team like the Kings *should* get the Grizzlies back on track offensively.
In the last matchup against the Kings, Jaren Jackson Jr. tore up Nemanja Bjelica by dropping 27 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks. JJJ has proven he can score on this Kings frontcourt and J.B. Bickerstaff needs to run plays for JJJ to take advantage of the mismatches, especially since the Kings will be without Marvin Bagley. If Bickerstaff features JJJ more, it will take less pressure off of a banged up Gasol and Conley and could help open up the Grizzlies offense more.
This game isn’t too terribly difficult to figure out. If it’s a high scoring game, the high-powered Kings will likely pull out the win. If it’s a defensive battle, the edge goes to the Grizzlies. Despite the losing streak, the Grizzlies have still done a good job on the defensive end limiting their opponents, the offense just hasn’t been able to muster up enough points.
Ultimately I see the Grizzlies getting back on track offensively and slowing down the Kings outside of Fox and Buddy Hield.
Grizzlies 102, Kings 98