The Rerun: Going away from what was working in Memphis

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings added another contender for the “worst loss of the season” in their loss in Memphis to the Grizzlies, 115-119.

9 Takeaways From The Game Film

1. To start off the game, the Sacramento Kings ran the same play three times over — De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes pick-and-roll. The thought was to get the scrawny rookie Ja Morant switched onto Barnes and let him go to work.

During the first attempt, Morant and Jae Crowder seemed unsure of what the defensive gameplan was, and Fox fed a nice pass into Barnes. Jaren Jackson Jr. then came over to help and altered the shot, but Barnes learned for the next possession where on the same play call he dropped it off to Richaun Holmes for two.

On the third run in just over a minute, Morant gets lost by the Barnes screen, Crowder is too slow to stop Fox, and another drop off pass gives Holmes a free two points.

2. Marvin Bagley forced the issue a bit much in Memphis. I understand that his much of his potential comes from isolation scoring, but it seems as though since he has fewer minutes than he would likely prefer and not currently being in the starting lineup he is focused on getting his own when he is out there.

Back-to-back possessions for Bagley while he was out there of going complete iso ball which leads to zero points for Sacramento and five for a high-paced Memphis team in transition.

At least he tried to finish with his right hand.

3. Bagley is far from the only Kings player guilty of taking matters into their own hands on the offensive end throughout the loss. Here are a few examples of Cory Joseph taking pull-ups from the nail with neither falling – not terrible looks, but certainly not ideal.

Buddy Hield also had many possessions towards the end of the game where he was quick to pull the trigger from three coming off a screen and it was again one of those nights that are more common than expected for Buddy, going 2 of 11 from deep.

4. The offense was all out of sorts with no one specific player to blame it on, and the Kings forced what seemed to be good ideas initially far too often.

Nemanja Bjelicia has the smaller Grayson Allen fronting him which should make for an easy bucket with an entry pass, but Ariza isn’t comfortable feeding it in with Bruno Caboclo lurking in the paint. Bagley clears out and brings Caboclo with him, and they attempt to go high-low but can’t find a passing lane. At this point, the shot clock is nearing its end and Ariza makes a poor pass out of a drive that eventually leads to a shot clock violation.

Terrible movement all night on the offensive end and this is a fine representation of that.

5. Harrison Barnes, who has struggled mightily shooting the basketball throughout the last 10+ games should be exempt from the negative talk on the offensive end.

Barnes finished the night with a team-high 25 points along with 4 rebounds (2 offensive), 5 assists, and 0 turnovers. The shot finally started to go down again for Barnes and he took advantage of mismatches against a switch-heavy Memphis defense.

6. In the Indiana Rerun, I emphasized Fox’s active hands paired with his IQ on the defensive end leading to steals and buckets on the other end. Teams simply can’t make these lazy passes when Fox is on the floor.

This will not always pay off for Fox, however, and he needs to control his urges and find a steady diet of gambling for plays. Here you can see Fox go for the all-or-nothing steal on Jackon who is posting up Holmes and therefor allows his man an easy cut to the basket. Ariza could have been more aware to stop the cutter, but this one falls on Fox and you can see him accept the blame and let his teammates know.

7. 18 offensive rebound for Sacramento on the night marks a season-high and when they are trotting out big lineups that include all three of Bjelicia, Bagley, and Holmes, you would hope that rebounds become a strength.

Putbacks off misses, mainly from Holmes who had a career-high 9 offensive rebounds himself, kept the Kings within striking distance throughout most of the game even though they were not able to capitalize in the end.

8. Just as we saw to start the game, attacking Morant in a pick-and-roll and switches was working. When either Barnes or Bjelicia got Morant on an island down there, it was barbeque chicken.

All of these plays were within a few minute’s time in the third quarter and then they inexpiably disappeared. For some reason, Sacramento went away from this after clear success in doing so and the lead for Memphis began to grow again after a hopeful run for the Kings.

9. Memphis’ pace this game was reminiscent of what Kings’ fans saw last season and once again Sacramento could not keep up with them. Cory Joseph had a few nice effort plays getting back defensively, but for the most part, the Grizzlies were able to capitalize off misses and turnovers from the Kings by running it down their throat.

Next. Decade In Review: Three Worst Draft Picks. dark

Sacramento actually did a fine job of getting their shots up, ending the game with 17 more field goal attempts than the Grizzles, but it was the quality of shots that would hurt them.