The Sacramento Kings begin their two game road trip tonight in Memphis against a completely different Grizzlies team then they faced their last time in Memphis January 18th. The Grizzlies will hope to have the services of Zack Randolph but will not have Rudy Gay.
The Kings will have to maintain their focus as Tayshaun Prince is a very capable player. While Prince will not be as much of a threat as Gay, the Kings will have to pay close attention to Prince after he had a franchise record setting night for the Grizzlies as he went 8-8 from the field, scoring 18 points.
Memphis is coming off back to back wins, but had its own losing streak of four games before finding ways to win with its new lineup. Sacramento has struggled recently against the Grizzlies, and hasn’t been able to find a way to put things together against this talented squad.
Isaiah Thomas scored a combined 48 points in his last two games, but has ben held to a combined 18 points on 6 of 24 from the field in two games this season against Memphis. Tyreke Evans has had his fair share of struggles against the Grizzlies as well, only scoring 13 points on 4 of 13 from the field.
Sacramento must pass the ball, and play tough defense against a Grizzlies team that is going to come at them from the first whistle of the game. The Kings need their big men to step up and play smart basketball, while finding their teammates, and getting easy buckets.
The Key to tonight’s game will be passing the ball. If Cousins, Evans, Salmons and Thomas can get the ball moving early in the game, they will find each other often. The Kings have shown that they aren’t a veteran team and will at times show its youth under consistent pressure. The Kings will need to maintain their composure, and not allow the game to get out of hand.
The Kings need to find a way to carry their momentum onto the road. They will face Memphis then Dallas in back to back road games before having time off for the All-Star break.
5 John Salmons Forward
34 Jason Thompson Forward
15 DeMarcus Cousins Center
13 Tyreke Evans Guard
22 Isaiah Thomas Guard
21 Tayshaun Prince Forward
50 Zack Randolph Forward
33 Marc Gasol Center
9 Tony Allen Guard
11 Mike Conely Guard