After holding on for as long as humanly possible without De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento’s playoff hopes are dangling by the thinnest of threads. The team has to win out and have San Antonio lose out for the rest of the season to make the play-in. On the one hand, it’s something of an achievement to have lasted this long without being eliminated from postseason contention; on the other hand, it’s been 15 years.
The Kings were supposed to play this double in Memphis back in January. Instead, the Grizzlies had to take a week-long break as the coronavirus wreaked havoc through their roster. Now, Memphis is in a particularly cramped stretch of games because of these rescheduled contests as the Grizzlies continue to fight for seeding.
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
When: Thursday, May 13 at 5 p.m. PT
How to watch/listen: NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Opposing perspective: Grizzly Bear Blues
Projected Starting Lineups
Kings (31-38): Delon Wright, Buddy Hield, Moe Harkless, Marvin Bagley III, Richaun Holmes
Grizzlies (36-33): Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Xavier Tillman
Kings: Buddy Hield — PROBABLE; Marvin Bagley III, Harrison Barnes — DOUBTFUL; De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Robert Woodard II — OUT
Grizzlies: Jonas Valanciunas — QUESTIONABLE; Grayson Allen, Sean McDermott — OUT
Playing spoiler is basically all the Kings have left at this point, but Sacramento is exceptionally banged up right now. De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are still out and the starting frontcourt of Marvin Bagley III and Harrison Barnes is also doubtful, which could force Chimezie Metu into the first five at power forward. The last time these two teams met, Metu was hurled to the ground by Jonas Valanciunas in what could hardly be called a basketball play. Valanciunas is questionable to play Thursday, but hopefully there are fewer theatrics regardless.
The Kings haven’t exactly gone with the youth movement to end the season as they continue to evaluate their veterans heading into free agency. Terence Davis and Richaun Holmes have both expressed interest in returning to Sacramento, and the team has also played Moe Harkless heavy minutes in the playoff push. Given that the Kings could be mathematically eliminated today, it would be nice to see more time given to Jahmi’us Ramsey or even Justin James, though Robert Woodard II remains out with injury.
What are you hoping to see out of these final three Kings games?