After winning five games in a row, their longest winning streak of the season, the Kings are now in danger of dropping their fourth straight. Each of Sacramento's last three wins was depressing in its own way, but particularly glaring was the lack of effort and defense in most of them. The Kings now have to try to end this slump against a good Memphis Grizzlies team, a team that has beaten them 18 out of the last 21 times. Tip-off's at 5 p.m. Pacific time on CSN California and KHTK 1140.
1. Can the Kings defend the perimeter? In their last three games, the Kings have allowed their opponents to shoot 39% from the three point line on 33.3 attempts a game. The Kings already allow the most threes in the league and that's even higher than their season average. Memphis however is one of the least perimeter oriented teams in the entire league, averaging the fourth least three point attempts and makes in the entire league. Still, that doesn't mean the Kings should give them open opportunities.
2. How will Rudy Gay be after coming back from his eye injury. The Kings have missed Rudy the last couple games and probably would have won against Charlotte if he hadn't been knocked out of the game with an eye injury in that final overtime. Aside from DeMarcus, Rudy's the only player on this team that can reliably create his own offense. He'll be back tonight and hopefully won't be affected too much now that his eye has healed.
3. Will the bench please contribute? The Kings bench has been terrible as of late. Even during the win streak there were games where they were almost non-existent. The Kings are seeing game after game slip out of their hands when the bench comes into the game. Marco Belinelli has been having a huge shooting slump, Omri Casspi hasn't been hitting his shots at the same rate as earlier this season, Kosta Koufos has seemingly lost his touch around the rim and Darren Collison hasn't been providing the spark we've hoped for. The Kings need these guys to contribute if they hope to win.
Matchup of the Game
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Marc Gasol
Boogie has had a rough few games during this losing streak after dropping big numbers. The Grizzlies feature Marc Gasol, a very good big man defender who has frustrated Cousins in the past. The Grizzlies are a rare team who don't need to double Cousins. Boogie will need to respect Gasol's defense and try to get other teammates involved instead of trying to force shots that might not be there.
Kings 92, Grizzlies 105 as Sacramento continues to fall apart on one end of the floor.