It was yet another disappointing blowout loss for the Kings and a bad start to their only back to back to back sequence of the season. Memphis shot 54.9% from the field as a team and was led by Rudy Gay's 23 points and 8 rebounds. The Kings meanwhile had good contributions late from their two rookie guards, with Jimmer Fredette leading the team in scoring with 17 (4-6 from three) and Isaiah Thomas with 15 points.
The Kings were awful on both ends of the court in this one. When Sam Young scores 20 points on you, you know you're doing something wrong. The Grizzlies managed to score a whopping 72 points in the paint. On offense, the ball movement continues to be terrible, and the Kings only had 13 assists to 19 turnovers. The Kings also missed a remarkable amount of layups and tip-ins. Dare I say it, this is a night I missed having Samuel Dalembert on the team.
DeMarcus Cousins did play off the bench after his one game
suspension paid leave of absence, and he once again had a tough time finishing at the rim, going 1-5, but continued rebounding well, grabbing 8 in 22 minutes.
The Kings lost this one early as Memphis came out blistering, shooting 60+% to start the game, getting out to a 17 point lead early. Getting out to a strong start is something the Kings have had trouble with in almost all of the games they have played to date (they actually started strong against the Blazers). The Kings eliminated that lead in the 2nd quarter with scrappy defense and hustle to close the half, and went into the break only down 2. Unfortunately, that break came at a bad time, and Memphis regrouped and easily took care of business in the 2nd half.
The frustrating thing about the losses the Kings have had is that they really haven't been all that competitive. We've gotten blown out by the Blazers, Knicks, and now Grizzlies. Chicago we weren't blown out, but it almost felt like we were, the Bulls were essentially in control the entire time.
In each of the losses, the Kings guard duo of Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton have struggled. That trend continued tonight, with the two combining for just 14 points on 18 shots. They didn't play much in the 2nd half once the game had essentially been decided. I really don't like how this offense seems to undervalue Marcus Thornton, who is our best scorer. Very rarely do I see plays run for Marcus aside from spot up three opportunities. Most of Marcus's shots are created through isolation opportunities. It is a similar situation for Tyreke.
This "offense" and lack of ball movement leads the Kings to take a ton of tough shots and a lot of jumpers. Regardless of all the easy layups we've missed, we've only had one good shooting game this season and that was against the Lakers where we shot 46.7%. In the other 5 games we've shot 37.8%, 42.2%, 34.9%, 41.2%, and 41%.
The Kings continue to be playing much worse than advertised. I've made excuses for the team in the past week about the extraordinary circumstances leading to the season and the impacted training camp/pre-season. But this cannot continue. Would an interim head coach do any better? I'm not sure. But I don't know if he could do any worse. This team needs a breath of fresh air, because whatever is being tried now is not working.