The NBA is filled with plenty of excitement for Friday night. Eight games are on the schedule for November 16, which means that over half of the NBA will be playing to open up the weekend. One of the more lesser known games will be between the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies. Both of these teams have had surprisingly strong starts to the new season.
Sacramento has started out the season with an 8-6 season. The Kings are currently sitting in seventh place of the Western Conference. Sacramento won their last game against the San Antonio Spurs, but have lost three of their last five games. The Kings can keep the strong start going with a win in Memphis on Friday night.
The Grizzlies have started out the season with an 8-5 record. Memphis is sitting in fifth place of the Western Conference. The Grizzlies won their last game against the Milwaukee Bucks, which gave them three wins in their last four games. Memphis seems to be trying to prove they are a legitimate threat in the Western Conference.
The Kings and Grizzlies met once before this season on October 24. Memphis and Sacramento will meet two more times after Friday’s matchup on December 21 or January 25. These two teams have both started out strong, which has surprised many, so each team will want to keep the momentum rolling.
The Kings and Grizzlies met three times last season. Sacramento hosted the first game between these two teams. Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings in points with 21 off the bench, but it was not enough. Tyreke Evans had 26 points in route to the 114-96 win for Memphis.
The second game of the season series between these two teams shifted back to Memphis. De’Aaron Fox had 16 points for the Kings. Dillon Brooks had 22 points, while Ben McLemore added another 21 off the bench. The Grizzlies pulled off a 106-88 win at home.
The third and final game of last season’s series was held in Memphis. The Grizzlies were led by MarShon Brooks with 23 points. Willie Cauley-Stein led Sacramento in points with 18. The Kings were able to sneak out with a 94-93 win to end the season.
The Kings hosted the first game between these two teams this season. Mike Conley had a solid game as he dropped 27 points on Sacramento. Buddy Hield scored 23 points and De’Aaron Fox had another 21 points for the Kings. Sacramento was able to pull off a 97-92 win.
The Grizzlies were able to take the season series 2-1 last season, but have fallen down 0-1 to the Kings in the season series this season. Memphis will host this game and will look for their home crowd to give them some energy against Sacramento. I believe the Grizzlies will use this momentum to help them pull off the win.
The Kings have avoided most injuries so far this season. Sacramento will only be without Kosta Koufos on Friday night. Koufos has not been a part of the Kings success this season as he has not played yet this season.
Memphis has not had the same success avoiding injuries to this part in the season. The Grizzlies are for sure without Dillon Brooks, JaMychal Green and Chandler Parsons against the Kings. Memphis could also be missing Omri Casspi and Ivan Rabb. Green has been averaging 7.5 points per game, while Brooks has averaged 6.8 points.
The Kings have been led by their pair of Guards. De’Aaron Fox has averaged 18.7 points and 7.1 assists per game this season. Buddy Hield is averaging 18.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Willie Cauley-Stein has averaged 16.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, which has helped the Kings success. Sacramento’s rookie Marvin Bagley has averaged 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game off the bench this season.
Mike Conley has been the leader for the Grizzlies on their solid run this season. Conley is averaging 19.2 points and 5.2 assists per game at Point Guard. Garrett Temple is averaging 12.2 points per game at the Shooting Guard spot. Marc Gasol has been doing really well at Center. He is averaging 15.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson has been averaging 11.6 points per game.
This game could turn into a shootout at the Guard spot. Both pairs of Guards have the ability to go off, which should provide an exciting matchup. Willie Cauley-Stein versus Marc Gasol should be another matchup to watch. I believe Gasol deserves the edge in that matchup, which could help give Memphis the win.
The Grizzlies lost the first game of the season series and will now look to get some revenge on home court. I believe that Memphis is the more likely team to be a legitimate playoff contender. The Grizzlies had a rough time with injuries last season and they are out to prove that they can compete. Memphis will look to ride the momentum of their last win against the Bucks into Friday night’s game.
BetOnline has Memphis listed at -6 ½ against the spread. The Grizzlies are hosting this game and I believe that the home crowd will propel them to the win. Sacramento seems to be an all in or all out team at time, which means this game could turn into a blowout. I am taking Memphis at home to knock off the Kings.