Game 40 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies' bench. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 5:00 pm PT

Where: FedExForum, Memphis, TN.

Broadcast Information: TV РComcast SportsNet California, Radio РCBS 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.

Status Updates: None to report.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (15-24)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Memphis Grizzlies Probable Starters (24-13)

PG: Mike Conley
SG: Tony Allen
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Zach Randolph

C: Marc Gasol

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 97.6
  • Offensive Rating:¬†102.0
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.5
  • Defensive Rating: 108.5
  • Pace: 94.69

Grizzlies

  • 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.

2.  Will we see more Chuck Hayes and less Thomas Robinson?

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.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.