Game 45 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Zach Randolph with an aggressive attack to the basket against DeMarcus Cousins. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television)

Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (15-29)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Marcus Thornton
SF: Derrick Williams
PF: Jason Thompson
C: Aaron Gray

Memphis Grizzlies Projected Starters (23-20)

PG: Mike Conley
SG: Courtney Lee
SF: Tayshaun Prince
PF: Zach Randolph
C: Marc Gasol




What to watch

1. Do DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay return?

Cousins and Gay have now missed three straight games.  A sprained left ankle has sidelined Cousins while a left achilles strain has shelved Gay.  The Kings missed their more than 40 points per game on Monday against the Jazz, but for the most part been fairly productive in their absence.  Against a stout defensive team like the Grizzlies, having Gay and Cousins back in the lineup can only help.

2. The health of Isaiah Thomas

Thomas left Monday’s game against Utah with a stomach ailment, which snapped his 37-game streak with a 3-pointer made.  Like Cousins and Gay, the Kings could use Thomas and the extra firepower he brings against this defensive-minded Grizzlies team.  However if Thomas is well enough to play, they’ll need a more efficient version of the third-year point guard.  In his last five games, Thomas has averaged 22 points and 7.4 assists per contest, but shot only 36.7 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from 3-point distance.

3. Kings bench vs. Grizzlies bench

The Kings have recently been getting healthy offensive contributions from Derrick Williams and Jimmer Fredette.  Throw in Ben McLemore into that mix as well.  McLemore has come off the bench to chip in 32 points on 12-of-24 shooting over his last two outings.  The Grizzlies’ bench doesn’t have anyone necessarily to write home about, but former Kings forward James Johnson has proven to be a solid addition.  Johnson has slimmed down with the Grizzlies and is averaging a respectable 8.1 points per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field this season.

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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.