The Sacramento Kings led the Memphis Grizzlies by as many as 26 early, but collapsed down the stretch in Memphis. The Grizzlies used a balance attack to beat the Kings and have now won 18 straight games at home.
Join James Ham and Rui Thomas for the Road Reaction Postgame Show on Google+ after the game. The show can be watched on the video player embedded below. You can also join the discussion of tonight’s game by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page.
Music Credit: Ronald Jenkees – Guitar Sound
What to watch
1. A struggle to score
The Grizzlies defense can suck the life out of you. They currently rank first in the NBA in points allowed (89.4) and opponent free throw attempts (18.3) per game. Memphis is also seventh in steals per contest (8.9). The only chink in their armor is defending behind the arc, where the Kings sit tied for last in makes per game (4.8). Having Darren Collison back from injury will help, but the offensive burden again rests on Cousins.
2. Bench play
For the season, Sacramento’s bench is tied for 22nd in the league in defensive efficiency (hoopsstats.com). On offense, the unit has struggled to find consistent contributors aside from Carl Landry, who’s been the only Kings second-stringer to reach double-digit points at least once in the past three games. Sacramento needs someone, whether it be Ramon Sessions, Nik Stauskas or Omri Casspi, to step their play up against a vulnerable Memphis bench.
3. Where’s Jason Thompson?
Thompson’s scoring has been nonexistent, and his defense is beginning to wane too. The big man is averaging 2.8 points per night (his previous career-low was 7.1 last season) shooting 29.4 percent on field goals and 25 percent on free throws. In addition, early foul trouble in recent games hasn’t helped Thompson find his rhythm on both sides of the floor. Adversary Zach Randolph is a classic low post scorer with defensive limitations, so the King has a favorable matchup for his own strengths.