The Memphis Grizzlies have not won a game since January 9th. It’s almost the end of the month and the Grizzlies were still looking for another win against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night down at the FedEx Forum. It would be their third home game in a five game home stand. The Kings have been up and down but they are still in the playoff race in the western conference.
The game started pretty slow for both teams, but Jaren Jackson Jr. came on strong against Nemanja Bjelica drawing fouls from him and getting a quick four points. Right after that Jackson went out of the game because of two quick fouls, one of which was a weird foul where someone stopped right in front of him and he could’t help but run them over. After Jaren Jackson went out of the game, Bjelica started to be a little more productive scoring 6 points after he went out. The Grizzlies were able to stay in the game through the middle part of the first quarter thanks to scoring off the bench and Omri Casspi scoring a very quick four points after he was subbed into the game. The offense struggled after that first run by the bench unit for the Grizzlies leading to a single point deficit at the end of the first.
The next quarter was anchored by the strong play of Omri Casspi (can’t say that too often) who had ten points in the second, leading the Grizzlies in scoring. Despite all his efforts the Grizzlies still found themselves trailing. Jaren Jackson Jr. finally checked back into the game and made an immediate impact finding Justin Holiday for an open three. It would not last though, the Grizzlies could not get their starters going on offense and ended up being down 6 points to the Kings at halftime.
Mike Conley comes out of halftime and immediately scores a three pointer. Both teams really struggled in the first part of the third quarter, but mid way through the Grizzlies started to make some really bad passes, turning the ball over, which lead to fast break points for the Kings. The Kings got the lead to 11 points but Omri Casspi would not give up and after another dunk, he cut it back to single digits. The Grizzlies cut a 13 point lead all the way down to two points and it was the loudest I have heard it in a long time. The bench unit for this Grizzlies team was fighting throughout the entire third quarter, even after taking the lead for one possession, the Kings came right back and went back up six points at the end of the third quarter.
The bench unit continued their hard play but could not really get it over the hump of 5 points, so they decided to put some of the starters back in the game. The game quickly went from 5 points back to 10 points after a few of the starters came back into the game and after a time out, the Grizzlies went with all of their starters to try and get the game back under control. Mike and Marc came back into the game and had a quick 5-0 run to force the Kings to call a timeout. After a couple fouls by the Kings, they cut the lead down to just one point. For the first time in a long time, the Grizzlies actually play in a late game situation, with just over a minute left Jaren Jackson Jr. made two free throws to make it a one point game. Buddy Hield hit a dagger with just over ten seconds left to put them up two baskets and the Grizzlies could not get over the hump at the end of the game. They would lose their 8th straight game.
- Omri Casspi has been on of the better wings off the bench for the Grizzlies this year, with a healthy squad, he would have been very helpful.
- If Justin Holiday is used in the right offensive scheme, he can be very effective. Unfortunately that is not what the Grizzlies do most of the time.