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Kings vs. Grizzlies Preview: Battle of the Baby Bigs

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After snapping their three game moral victory streak, the Kings return home to face a Memphis Grizzlies squad that has won two of their first three games.

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Kimani Okearah

The Kings are home on a second night of a back to back, after getting routed by the hottest team in the NBA to start this young season, the Denver Nuggets. There were positives: The Kings were the first team to score over a hundred against them this season, Marvin Bagley III showed out (more on that later) and most importantly of all, the Kings get a quick chance to bounce back tonight. Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Wednesday, October 24th; 7:00 pm PST

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

MBIII v JJJ: Forget everything else. Fox vs. Fox 0.5 might be fun. Marc Gasol vs. Willie will be ...interesting. But tonight’s reason for tuning in is to finally see Marvin Bagley III take on Jaren Jackson Jr. Basketball junkies have been robbed of this opportunity for quite some time now; at Duke, Marvin Bagley got one of his peepers poked during the season opener against Michigan State and miss out on the opportunity to square off against another elite big man prospect. Then, in the words of Bryant West himself, Tom Izzo “izzoed” his way out of a meeting of the two in the Elite 8 of last year’s NCAA tournament.

Both young men are oozing with talent and look to fashion themselves into the mold of the elite power forward /center of the next decade or so and have shown out these first few games. Jaren Jackson Jr. has come into the NBA and averaged 15 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1 block in 26.7 minutes a game, and Bagley 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1 steal and 1.5 blocks in 25.3 minutes a game. That’s pretty damn close through the first few games and you get a sense it might be that way for much of their careers. For tonight, I’m looking solely at this as a companion piece to last night’s game against the Nuggets. How does Bagley respond after a big game, with heavy minutes in Denver of all places and in his very first regular season back-to-back? Is that famous motor enough to push his tired legs to another big game at home, or will fatigue (or coaching) keep him from being as productive as he’s been the last few games? If both fanbases get what they hope for in their investment of these bigs, this match-up will be a must watch for years to come. Tonight’s the first of many to look forward to.

Both teams in general seemed evenly matched, though admittedly by employing opposing strategies. So far this season, Memphis has taken the anti-Kings route (aka, the Kings route of last season). They score the second least amount of points in the NBA and then when they manage to find the hole, it’s at the league’s second slowest pace. Half of their points are generated from Mike Conley crutching up the floor, pointing towards his heel and then doffing his Newsie’s cap and singing “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” until the opponent get’s sad and lets him toss a couple of balls at the rim. The other half is obviously just given to them for having Garrett Temple’s smile shine brightly towards the scorekeeper. I don’t mind that half though, his smile is luminous. With the Kings taking on a top 10 defense for the second night in a row, a bounce back game will take whatever stamina they’ve got left, which of course is infinite, because De’Aaron Fox has access to the SpeedForce.

S(acramento) T(heater) R(eview)

Tonight’s movie: The Edge

What IMDB Says: An intellectual billionaire and two lesser men struggle to band together and survive after getting stranded in the Alaskan wilderness with a blood-thirsty Kodiak Bear hunting them down.

What I Have to Say: IMDB calling Alec Baldwin and Harrold Perrineau “lesser men” had me guffawing fairly hard. I mean it’s true, sure, but Anthony Hopkins and any character he plays is immediately the best part of a movie. Take Chris Hemsworth: that souped up Ken Doll was a lesser man to Anthony Hopkins in all three of his own Thor movies for god-sake.

This movie will hold a special place in my heart. It is completely and utterly 90’s: Alec Baldwin is still trying to be that hunk of a leading man, Anthony Hopkins is doing the Hannibal-Lecter-but-totally-not for the hundredth time and they use a real bear (Bart the Bear for anyone who knows him) throughout production.

For Rent: On Amazon ($3.99) and Youtube ($2.99)

Trailer:

Prediction

The Kings roll up on the Grizzlies and send them to an early hibernation. De’Aaron Fox has a bounce back game against the second best player from the ‘06-07 Ohio State University basketball team, Marvin Bagley hits J after J after J against his young Memphisian counterpart, and Robert Pera stumbles onto the court at halftime, threatens to arm wrestle Vivek for a redo in last year’s draft, before once again calling for Dave Joerger to wear a headset and have an offensive coordinator in his ear, just for old times sake. JB Bickerstaff hides his under a chair in the visitor’s locker room, after seeing the tirade from the tunnel, and without it, the Grizzlies only score 12 points in the second half. The Kings use the home crowd to once again get themselves over the 120 point mark.

Kings 121, Grizzlies 52