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Kings vs. Grizzlies Preview: Say Goodbye to 2017!

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It’s the last game of the year, and the Kings are looking to go out on a high note as they take on Marc Gasol and the Grizz at home!

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies is the last in a year of immense change; featuring the Kings trading their Boogie for a Buddy, letting the tank finally consume them, having some draft luck for once and a full 365 days on the pile of uneven and sometimes ugly basketball. Through unexpected victories over the likes of the Warriors and Cavs, the occasional 47 point defeats to bottom-of-the-barrel Hawks teams and all the mediocre basketball in between, Kings fans have stuck it through. Night after night, year after year: Kings have stuck it through. Here’s to what 2018 has to hold for us all. But first, we’ve got a game to watch. Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Sunday, December 31st; 4:00 pm PST

Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

(Grit N’) Grind to a Halt: Close your eyes. Which team owns the worst record in the Western Conference? You’re thinking Lakers, Mavs, but it can’t be the Kings right? Now I know playing this little game myself I considered Memphis, but didn’t think it had gotten that bad that quick. I was wrong. The Memphis Grizzlies are currently sitting at 11-25, losers in 10 of their last 13 contests and things aren’t looking up for them in the new year. Having already fired popular head coach David Fizdale after they started the season 7-12, the Grizzlies are in No Mans Land in the Western Conference. They’ve got aging stars that are owed a ton of moolah, no real young prospects to speak of and an owner that takes the more annoying eccentricities of Vivek and turns them to a much uglier, more bizarre place. So thirty-six games into the season, what do we know about the Memphis Grizzlies?

Memphis plays a very similar brand of basketball to Sacramento in certain areas. At 98.3 points per game, the Grizzlies are the second lowest scoring team in the NBA, and also happen to play at the league’s slowest pace. If you’ve been living in a bunker all of 2017, the KIngs are current the lowest scoring team in the NBA at 97 points per game and play at the second lowest place. Also, do you have any room in that bunk? I can pay you in bad previews and box sets of the ABC hit television show, L O S T. Hit me up in the comments. The Grizzlies aren’t a team adept at hitting shots: they’re 27th in the league in field goal percentage, hitting just 44.2% of their shots on a given night. The Grizz are the 6th worst shooting team in the league in terms of two and three point shooting percentage as well, averaging 48.8% and 35% from the field, respectively. In yet another similarity to the Kings, they’re also a bad rebounding team; 22nd in offensive rebounding, 27th in defensive rebounding and 28th in total rebounding. For reference, the Kings are 20th in offensive and 29th in both defensive and total rebounding. Use that knowledge to impress your friends when Willie Cauley-Stein grabs 15 boards tonight, Buddy Hield grabs 7 and no other Kings grabs more than 3.

On the defensive end, the once mighty Memphis defense is a shell of its former self. While they’re fourth in the league in blocks and hold their opponents to the fourth least two point shots in the NBA, everything past that is pretty darn bad. They’re 22nd in the league in steals and 28th in the league in player fouls; a nice bit of knowledge for a team like the Kings who are allergic to the free throw line. Memphis gives up the third most free throw attempts in the NBA, as well. Teams that square off against the Grizzlies are also averaging 38% from downtown, so the Kings have got that going for them, which is nice. Overall, this is two bad teams squaring off against one another. The team that wants it more, will probably be the team that gets it. If the Kings come out determined to let Luka Doncic play somewhere other than the Golden 1 Center, they’ll try to get Marc Gasol in early foul trouble, they’ll attempt the three’s that Memphis is bound to give them and they’ll rebound the ball.

Resolutions

Just because this has been a year of such flux for the Kings, I want to know in the comments:

  1. What are your 2018 resolutions for the Kings and management? Do you want them tanking? Trying to win 30 games? Who should they be aiming for in the lottery?
  2. What are your personal resolutions for 2018? You looking to finish up your degree, or buy a house or build a bunker? And if you are trying to build a bunker, I HAVE SKILLS THAT YOU WILL NEED.

Prediction: The Kings win handily, you get everything you want in life in 2018 and that one person who hurt you deeply, they break their toe tonight in a sewer grate. Also, they’re sorry for that one thing. <3

Kings: 102, Grizzlies: 96

Happy New Year’s everyone! Thanks for letting me come into your lives for a little bit every few days and tell you what you already know and for being such wonderful people. You mean the world to me!