Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Grizzlies Vs Kings Preview

Rudy Gay is back in town for the Grizzlies Vs Kings matchup tonight. It’s been almost a year since the infamous trade that sent Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors and Tayshaun Prince to the Grizzlies. Gay has since been traded from the Raptors to the Sacramento Kings. The Grizzlies went on to make the Western Conference Finals, albeit somewhat through a Russell Westbrook injury.

However, there has long been discussion among fans regarding the timing of the move. Was it made because of internal team problems, John Hollinger coming aboard as VP of Basketball operations, or financial reasons? Nevertheless, the loss of Gay has caused the team to be without a scorer in the perimeter to cover ground for Gasol and Randolph. Teams suffocate and close in on Gasol and Randolph in the post. They double team at will, knowing there is no heavy perimeter threat outside of Mike Conley to make them pay for it.

Rudy Gay exited the Memphis Grizzlies as the franchise career leader in games played, minutes played, and steals. Gay ranked second in points, field goals made. He was third in three‐pointers made, free throws made, rebounds and fifth in blocks.

Grizzlies Vs Kings Preview: Playoffs

The Grizzlies have been on a tear as of late winning four games in a row. Tonight we’ll see if they have what it takes to make it five wins. Competition is strong in the Western Conference this year. Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks have come into their own recently. They currently hold the eighth playoff spot in the West. Every win counts in the West. Every loss cuts deeply into playoff hopes.

The Grizzlies are caught in a tight spot. They are no where close to bad enough to have a draft shot at a player like Andrew Wiggins. However, they might not be much more than first round fodder. A trade needs to be made to bring a significant perimeter talent back to the Grizzlies. Otherwise they might earn the unfortunate title of ‘treadmill team’.

Key matchups in tonight’s Grizzlies Vs Kings game will feature both front and back courts. Rising stars Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins will battle Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. Will Gasol be able to contain the ever unpredictable Cousins? Can he exploit the emerging new star’s hot temper and flare for technicals? Randolph should dominate his matchup with Jason Thompson tonight if he maintains focus.

Last Grizzlies game was a bit of a tough pill to swallow for Randolph. Randolph, went 2 for 10 and scored six points to go along with four rebounds and one assist against the Milwaukee Bucks. Randolph has been in classic form with the exception of the Bucks egg. He’s averaging 19.9 points and 12.9 rebounds through the last seven games. Z-Bo will certainly bounce back tonight against the Kings.

Tonight’s game will hint if the Memphis Grizzlies have what it takes to not only stay over 0.500 but vie for a playoff spot. A loss could indicate spiraling into NBA purgatory. In-between playoff team and middle of the pack draft picks. The worst spot to be in.

Coach David Joerger had some choice words on tonight’s Grizzlies Vs Kings matchup: “A couple of weeks ago we don’t pull this game out. I’m proud of the growth that we’ve made. That’s a happy locker room.”

Grizzlies Vs Kings Preview: Lineups

Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup:
PG: Mike Conley
SG: Courtney Lee
SF: Tayshaun Prince
PF: Zach Randolph
C: Marc Gasol

Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup:
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Marcus Thornton
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Grizzlies Injury Notes:

Tony Allen (Sprained Left Wrist) day to day.
Quincy Pondexter (Tarsal Navicular Stress Fracture, Right Foot) out indefinitely.

Kings Injury Notes:

Carl Landry (Tear, Left Hip Flexor Muscle) out.
Ray McCallum *D-League Assignment

Grizzlies Vs Kings: Media Notes
Memphis Grizzlies – Media Notes
Sacramento Kings – Media Notes

Tags: David Joerger Demarcus Cousins Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies NBA News Rudy Gay Sacramento Kings Zach Randolph

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