• Sacramento Kings travel to Memphis Friday evening for a game against the Grizzlies.  New head coach Dave Joerger will be coaching his first game in Memphis since leaving the organization over the summer.

    The Sacramento Kings are fresh off of a disappointing loss to the Rockets, and despite the fact that the team entered the game clearly over-matched, the results could have been much more favorable.  Many questioned the decision to not play the rookies more given how big the lead was, and plenty of fans also wondered if DeMarcus Cousins should have been in the game.

    Here are some notes heading into the matchup:

    • Malachi Richardson was fairly impressive in his limited action, and the rookie has shown that he can contribute in a few different areas with the Reno Bighorns.  Given the lack of scoring or youth on the roster, Richardson may be a decent option moving forward.
    • Willie Cauley-Stein still needs some improvement, but his strengths are starting to be more of an asset in games. His rebounding and foul troubles can be frustrating, but Cauley-Stein figures to be an important piece of the roster moving forward.  Getting him going should be a high priority for the team.
    • Rudy Gay appears to be sitting out his second straight game, but Omri Casspi and Anthony Tolliver have been effective when called upon.  Tolliver showed some great effort on the glass in Houston, and can also help spread out the offense with his perimeter scoring.  Losing Gay is definitely a blow for the roster, but the depth at the position should be enough to get the job done in his absence.
    • Mike Conley is playing for the first time since November 26th, and the short absence is relatively surprising.  The Grizzlies have played very well in his absence, so getting Conley back should be a huge boost for the team.

    The performance in Houston was tough to swallow for a fan base that is already fearing another trip to the lottery, but beating the Grizzlies on the road can help restore some of the optimism that surrounded this group early in the year. One game won’t do it alone, but with a 9-16 record the Kings will need to start winning sooner rather than later.

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