And just like that, the high from the Kings two-game win streak wears off. Sacramento was demolished by Memphis twice on Saturday. After falling behind by 13 after one quarter, the Kings fought to back to cut the deficit to single digits by halftime. But then the roof caved in. In an instant, the Grizzlies started treating the Kings like a high school squad, scoring at will, inside and outside. The final tally was a 128-95 walloping.
THE REAL JIMMER STANDS UP – Kings fans saw glimpses of the Jimmer Fredette (33 MIN, 20 PTS, 5-13 FG, 3-6 3FG, 6 AST) they hoped to see when he was drafted. Jimmer, thrust into a prominent role with Marcus Thornton’s early exit, hit a couple early shots and it seemed to settle him down a little. The shots were the same as games past, but the difference in Jimmer’s game was the court vision. Fredette earned the defense’s respect, then got into the lane and found teammates. He showed point guard like skills to go with his outside shot. His defense, while certainly improved, was still less than adequate, but all in all, a strong effort from Jimmer.
GRIZZLIES LIGHTS OUT – Sacramento’s defense was not good, no denying that. But Memphis was absolutely on fire Saturday. Mike Conley butchered the Kings, and Sacramento did nothing to adjust. Leaving Jimmer on Conley for long stretches hurt, but other defenders didn’t fare much better. OJ Mayo and Marc Gasol, who even stroked a three-pointer, were hitting everything in sight. Throw in Rudy Gay and it was curtains. The Grizz shot 54.3 percent from the field
PASSIVE TYREKE – Maybe Tyreke Evans (30 MIN, 13 PTS, 4 AST, 3 REB, 3 TO) was just gassed from Friday’s studly performance, but against Memphis, Reke was a non-factor. The aggressive takes to the basket, the command of the offense, the assertiveness on the defensive end…all gone against the Grizzlies. Tyreke drove the Kings to victory on Friday and his ineffectiveness in Memphis stung big time.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS – Donte Greene (33 MIN, 19 PTS, 8-11 FG, 7 REB) with a terrific shooting night off the bench. You’ve gotta figure the small forward position is wide open and anyone who gets hot for a few games can earn serious playing time. Greene certainly earned more looks … Isaiah Thomas (20 MIN, 2 PTS, 1-7 FG, 5 AST, 5 REB) was once again absent from the floor in the first half. By the time he was inserted, the game had gotten away from the team, and he played relatively poorly. With Thornton and Salmons out, it’s hard to figure out what Isaiah has to do to see early playing time … Referees didn’t cost Sacramento the win, but what a terrible game for the three zebras … Next up, a tough roadie in Portland on Monday. The Blazers are 6-1 at home.