Coming into the season, not many folks were predicting Memphis to have a better record than the revamped Kings at the All–Star break. But here we are, the Grizzlies currently the #8 seed in the West under first-time head coach Taylor Jenkins. And this is the opposite of grit and grind, as they are beating teams by getting their offense going and running up the scoreboard. They have shooters at every position and a fearless young leader at the point guard spot. They have fun to watch all season.
Sacramento on the other hand is playing their best ball of the season since moving their star to the bench. 3-pt shootout champ Buddy Hield has come off the bench for the Kings last 10 games, a stretch where the team has gone 6-4. And see, De’Aaron Fox is playing well, and they have several guys scoring in double figures. But it was clear that the Ariza and Dedmon signings were flops, both guys already in different cities. When Jabari Parker debuts for them tonight, they’ll add another tenacious bench scorer.
The spread for tonight’s game favors the home Kings by one point, the over/under set at 229.
Grizzlies looking to keep it rolling
Despite the winning record at the break, nothing is set in stone for Memphis. Portland and New Orleans, nor the Spurs, will not quit and will likely play better in the second half of the year to try and claim the playoff spot. This is on Ja Morant, having a tremendous start to his career, to lead them. He has a great supporting cast in young star Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks and Jonas Valanciunas. When he’s healthy, Justise Winslow is a strong two-way player, so he’ll hopefully be able to play for them soon. Brandon Clarke has also been an effective sixth man here.
If they can limit Buddy Hield off the bench and limit the number of drives from De’Aaron Fox, there’s a good chance they will be 29-26 at the end of the day.
Kings looking to salvage their season
A playoff appearance is unlikely for the Kings this year, as it has been every season since 2006. They are bringing their supposed best player off the bench and starting an impending free agent in his place. Their draft pick from a loaded class is panning out as the worst out of the top five due to an inability to stay healthy. And they paid Harrison Barnes nearly $100 to score 14 per game. There are many roster questions to be answered by the Kings this offseason, so we’ll see how they handle it. For now, it’s just another lost season.
Harry Giles has been starting at center due to several big man injuries, and that’s not how it should be. He is a capable backup, but not a starter in this league. They are missing Bagley, Len and Holmes.
Grizzlies win on the road
Make sure to bet on Memphis as they win away from home.
Free Play: Memphis Grizzlies +1