Kings vs. Grizzlies preview: Can DeMarcus Cousins keep it up?

Jeff Gross

Will Boogie be able to turn in a big night going against Marc Gasol?

Day game!

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

DeMarcus Cousins vs. Marc Gasol.

Boogie has gotten down against a range of centers this season. But Gasol is one of the two or three best pivot defenders in the league, and a really cerebral player who can match up against a range of opponents. What Marc can't do is keep up with Cousins on the bounce. But Gasol can make getting to a good spot more difficult, and he has agile enough hands to create some turnovers if Boogie drives.

On the other end, Gasol is a versatile little animal. He's a pretty tough cover despite not being a huge scorer.

3 THINGS I WILL BE WATCHING

1. Greivis Vasquez's turnovers. Four turnovers is too many. Eight? Way way way way way too many. The first quarter on Friday went horribly wrong: the Kings shot and defended well enough to have a lead going into the second, but for those seven turnovers, several of them by Vasquez. He's gotta protect that ball.

2. Cousins' demeanor. Holy heck was he totally composed on Friday despite some awful officiating and an annoying couple of matchups in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Memphis can be pretty annoying, too: Gasol is crafty, Zach Randolph has those old man moves and Tony Allen has some of the quickest and strongest hands in the NBA. So Boogie's patience will be tested.

3. McLemore and Thornton. McBen hasn't been great in the starting lineup -- he didn't get too many shots on Friday after taking some bad ones on Wednesday. M.T. was invisible on Friday. The Kings need one of them to be strong to have a chance. Both would be nice, too.

PREGAME HAIKU

Homestand continues.
But the wins aren't pouring in.
Season's gon' be long.

PREDICTION

Grizzlies 92, Kings 87.

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