Game 40 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies
Gametime: 5:00 pm PT
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, TN.
Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – CBS Sports 1140
For Grizzlies perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate 3 Shades of Blue.
The book on the Grizzlies: Since playing the Kings last week at Sleep Train Arena, the Grizzlies have fallen off the wagon. They’ve gone 2-3 and lost three straight games. Trade speculation involving a few of their starters seem to have become a distraction.
Did you know? The Kings are 3-21 in games where they’ve trailed at half. By comparison, they’re 12-3 in contests where they’ve held a halftime lead. It’s safe to say that the Kings need to get out to a good start in order to come out with a win tonight.
Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (15-24)
Memphis Grizzlies Probable Starters (24-13)
- Points Per Game: 97.6
- Offensive Rating: 102.0
- Opponents Points Per Game: 102.5
- Defensive Rating: 108.5
- Pace: 94.69
- Points Per Game: 93.7
- Offensive Rating: 100.2
- Opponents Points Per Game: 89.6
- Defensive Rating: 97.8
- Pace: 92.17
Three questions to ponder
1. Can the Kings’ dictate the pace?
The last time these two teams met, the Grizzlies forced the Kings into playing a Memphis-style game. The Kings scored just 81 points, while the Grizzlies poured in 113 in a contest that was played at a slow, meticulous tempo. The pace of that game? 86.1 points per 100 possessions – well, below the Kings’ usual 94.69 average pace this season. Memphis will try to control the game with its defense. If the Grizzlies can force the Kings into making miscues on offense, then Sacramento could be in for a long night.
Over the last month, the veteran big man had seemingly fallen out of Keith Smart‘s rotation. In the Kings’ previous nine games before the Wednesday match-up against the Wizards, Hayes was playing just 9.6 minutes per contest. His decreased playing time has coincided with the rise of his rookie teammate. Over his last seven outings, Robinson had played an average of 19 minutes per game. However, the roles shifted back in Hayes in favor in the Kings’ last game. The Modesto Christian alum played 22 minutes and provided some savvy defense against the Wizards’ big front line.
3. Can the Kings limit the Grizzlies’ success from beyond the arc?
Memphis destroyed the Kings from outside in their visit last week to Sacramento. The Grizzlies made 11-of-20 three-pointers for a healthy 55 percent from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Kings came out cold, making just 5-of-21 attempts. Wayne Ellington was the difference for the Grizzlies last time out. He scored 18 of his 26 points from three-point land, making a game-best 6-of-7 from long range.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.