Sacramento Kings Tuesday Tip Off; A Good Look vs The Grizzlies


Over the weekend I discussed that the Sacramento Kings have a rough stretch ahead. Coming off of 3 days rest is a blessing, and contrary to popular belief, the loss of DeMarcus Cousins for the next two games will be as well.

November 2, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli (31) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Sacramento Kings face off against the Memphis Grizzlies to begin a grueling stretch of games that have them matched up against the former world champions (Golden State), the expected world champions (San Antonio), a man with a glorious beard to match his glorious game, (James Harden & The Rockets) and a team that will be a division nuisance (Phoenix).

Memphis has consistently been considered a dominant force in the league. They featuring two of the NBA’s best big men in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. They took the Warriors to a six game series last year in the playoffs, won 55 games, and feature one of the most bad ass players in the league. On paper the Kings should get destroyed in this game.

Coming off of three days rest gives the energy necessary for head coach George Karl to coach to his favored style of play. He wont confirm that a smaller lineup featuring two guards will start the game, but has said Via Bill Herenda , that “Playmakers” will have the on floor priority.

In NBA terms, that means that they will run and gun, push the tempo, and try like hell to outscore the team that looked washed, aged, and only put up 69 points on the road against the Warriors last night.

No DeMarcus Cousins to bang in the paint with their bigs? No problem. In order to win, the early reports from the preseason that rookie Willie Cauley-Stein was out of shape will need to be put to rest. Great moments and landmarks in a career are born from great opportunity, and here is Cauley-Stein’s chance to silence the doubters.

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He will have to have help from Kosta Koufos, who has looked promising this season with a sample size that compares to the free servings at a grocery store. Koufos could do more than many expect though and that sample size could be a deserving take home meal.

He played against these guys in practice all last year (signed from Memphis), and could offer tips as well as rattle a temperamental Zach Randolph. Look for more low post help to slow these guys down in proven low post banger in Quincy Acy, Eric Moreland, and Reggie Evans.

Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of opportunities, Ben McLemore, its go time. Seriously, we’ve been about as patient as a customer at the DMV. We know the service is coming, it looks promising, but its time to step up.

The King’s are going to need to get some buckets tonight, as well as down the stretch to match the style of play of the teams coming up on the schedule, our own Rafe Wong wrote about it, and this is your chance kid.

Ben McLemore is going to be the X-factor tonight, if he can put up 17+ points on an efficient and tempo suiting percentage, the Kings walk away from this game with a win easily.

The Sacramento Kings are not the Golden State Warriors, true. No one should expect them to come out and dominate in the way that the reigning MVP and NBA champions did. However, a win should be expected as the Kings take the court tonight even without All Star DeMarcus Cousins.

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Look for Rajon Rondo to dictate the tempo, and even backup Darren Collison to push the ball–George Karl style–and have favorable matchups against Mike Conley Jr. Matt Barnes & Rudy Gay should be nothing short of entertaining (and possibly, hilarious) to see tonight, as their opinionated talent levels and attitudes will simmer on the court.

Bottom line, the Grizzlies bigs are going to get theirs. They are who we think they are.

Big, talented, seasoned, and…tired. The Grizzlies are coming off of three away games during a four games in six day stretch, and their age showed on the court last night against a team they contended with when it mattered most last season.

Next: Rajon Rondo Is Silencing His Doubters

The Kings have the opportunity to capitalize and bring home a win to the Capital City.  Push the tempo, play with a smaller lineup that has the ability to run like a track team, and expect young guns Willie Cauley-Stein and Ben McLemore to step up on the home court and expose the Grizzlies tonight.