The Young Kings have decided it’s time to go walkabout and spend some time really discovering who they are, see the whole country and meditate on what’s really underneath the rocks at the bottom of rock-bottom. Their first philosophical conundrum rests upon whether it is better to kill the group of injured grizzlies before them, or lay down and give themselves up as sustenance to aid in the once proud beasts recoveries. The boys in purple have begun their longest road trip of the season in Memphis for a game in which Tyreke Evans, Ben McLemore and Keith Smart are members of the Grizzlies and Dave Joerger, Vince Carter, Kosta Koufos and Zach Randolph are members of the Kings. If that little factoid made your head spin, just wait till Tyreke Evans hits his 4th three of the night, and Marc Gasol runs Dave Joerger out of the arena at halftime. Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Friday, January 19th; 5:00 pm PST
Where: FedEx Forum; Memphis, Tennessee
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Return of the King: In a season filled with unexpected coach firings, innumerous injuries and general all-around bad basketball, is it any surprise to find out that the best player for the Memphis Grizzlies is our old friend, Tyreke Evans. On a team that recently had $80.1 million worth of their lineup sitting due to injuries, it’s been the one year contract guy that has stepped up in a way that not many believed possible out of Evans. 19.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists are impressive in their own right for a guy who hasn’t had those numbers since his rookie season, but the cherry on top is that Tyreke is currently shooting over 40% from deep, on over five attempts a game! I made a $10,000 bet with my roommate back in college that Tyreke would be able to outperform his sophomore campaign stats of 17-5.6-4.8 and I swear if Tyreke’s numbers hold this season, I’m making two very important phone calls: a call to him demanding the money, and then to the Judge Judy hotline when he “forgot” about the “bet” that he was “definitely” “joking” about. Joe, if you’re reading this: you better pray for a Tywrecked ankle my friend. Also: good for Tyreke, we’re happy for him, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, I want my money.
The Unbearable Shiteness of Three-ing: Tonight’s matchup between the Kings and the Grizzlies features two teams in the bottom 10 in three point attempts this season in the NBA. The Kings, while fourth in the league in percentage, take less three pointers than every team but one, which if I had to hazard a guess would somehow be the 1949 Minneapolis Lakers. The Grizzlies take the eighth least amount of three pointers in the NBA, but that’s likely due to being embarrassed that they’re the 6th worst percentage in the NBA at just over 35% on the season. What’s worse yet is that both of these teams allow their opponents to shoot ridiculously high percentages from three. The Kings are the worst in the league in that particular stat; teams shoot an average of 38.9% from distance against them. The Grizzlies allow teams to shoot 37.1% from long range, putting them down for sixth worst percentage in the league. Now, for those who watch the Grizzlies, there’s a ray of sunshine: though they give up a high percentage from deep, opponents attempt the 7th least amount of said shots against them, so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice. As for Kings fans: ahahahaha. They give up the sixth most three point attempts in the NBA. Your pain is meaningless in a cruel, unforgiving universe.
Prediction: Tyreke Evans goes for 30-20-20 and his season averages grow to a career best. I take the $10k, run away to Zihuatanejo and buy an old boat to fix up. Old broken boats wind up being a terrible investment, so I sell the boat for $750, buy a pair of Lonzo Ball flip flops and I’m back writing previews before Harry Giles ever steps foot on an NBA court. Dave Joerger gets ejected tonight.
Kings: 94, Grizzlies: 89