Sacramento Kings (26-46) at Memphis Grizzlies (50-24)
The Sacramento Kings head into Memphis to take on the Grizzlies tonight; and they will do so without DeMarcus Cousins, who will get the night off.
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Get used to seeing this down the stretch, as the Kings look to assure themselves a top 10 pick in June’s draft. The end of the season will provide an opportunity to get significant playing time to players who haven’t seen a ton thus far.
This will be the second game of a back to back for Memphis, who lost last night to the surging San Antonio Spurs. So Sacramento will get a bounce back opportunity tonight after losing to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. The loss to the Pelicans was their first in the last five games.
George Karl‘s impact is starting to be felt.
The Kings got a much needed break over the weekend, and they should be rested and ready to go tonight. Memphis holds a 2-1 advantage this season, and Sacramento can even up the season series and hand the Grizzlies their fourth straight loss with a victory tonight.
Three Keys to victory:
A Team Effort
Without Cousins, the whole team will need to step up and chip in. Rudy Gay will need to be the focal point of the offense. Ray McCallum, Nik Stauskas, and Derrick Williams will be key. Coach Karl could employ some interesting lineups without Cousins. No Cousins also likely means a lot of Ryan Hollins, especially with the size the Grizzlies poses.
McLemore will be needed tonight if the Kings are going to pull this one out. Typically McLemore plays well against the Grizzlies, averaging 17 points in three contests. His three point shooting will need to be a weapon as well as to avoid the defense from collapsing on Gay. McLemore is averaging two threes a game over his last four.
Tonight is a Jason Thompson-type of game. While his numbers likely won’t be eye popping, his role on the defensive end will be key. Thompson excels defensively against physical forwards and centers. He will need to slow down Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol on the defensive end. Tonight will need to be a max effort game for Thompson.Grabbing an extra offensive rebound or keeping Gasol of his spot could be the difference between getting a win or a loss.
What Time? 5 PM (8 PM EST)
Where at? FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Where to Watch? Comcast Sports Net
Where to Listen? KHTK Sports 1140