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Grizzlies 118, Kings 108: New Year, Old Kings

The Kings fell short in Memphis to kick off 2023.
By | 33 Comments | Jan 1, 2023

Jan 1, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams (4) shoots as Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) defends during the second half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Sacramento Kings kicked off 2023 facing the Memphis Grizzlies, one of the few teams ahead of the Kings in the current Western Conference standings. Could they emerge victorious and advance their case as a legit playoff team? Let’s see how they did.

Quick Stats

Outcome: Grizzlies 118, Kings 108

Sacramento Kings: 108pts, 40.6% fg, 34.9% 3 pt, 100% ft, 24 ast, 47 reb,  15 to

Memphis Grizzlies: 118 pts, 46.0% fg, 31.3% 3 pt, 66.7% ft, 25 ast, 57 reb,  11 to

The Kings didn’t play bad, they just never played good enough to beat a superior team. I’d like to point to something more glaring than that, but that’s what it was. Memphis played better. Not exceedingly better, but just consistently better enough.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
THE GOOD
  1. De’Aaron Fox: Honestly, Fox was just barely on the edge of good. He had 19 points, 6 assists, and 4 rounds, but took 18 shots to get his 19 points. Not a bad spot, but far from a great Fox game.
  2. Malik Monk: Monk did his best to bolster the Kings bench unit, finishing with 18 points. But similar to Fox, it was a struggle to get there, taking 17 field goal attempts.
THE BAD
  1. Bench Production: Outside of Malik Monk, who was far from perfect in this game, the bench was woefully ineffective. Davion Mitchell had some good defensive moments, but notched just 2 points and 1 assists. Richaun Holmes had just 2 points and 3 rebounds in 14 minutes. Trey Lyles had 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists but was 1-5 from 3, many of which were clean, open looks.
THE Ugly
  1. Team Rebounding: The Kings got killed on the offensive glass. Steven Adams finished with 13 offensive rebounds, and that really was the difference in this game.
The King of Kings

Who else could it be but Domantas Sabonis? 18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists. Sabonis notched his 13th straight double-double, tying DeMarcus Cousins and LaSalle Thompson in Kings history for consecutive double-doubles.

Up Next

Tuesday, January 3rd @ Utah Jazz, 6:00 PM PT

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33 Comments
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HongKongKingsFan
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January 1, 2023 8:27 pm

We need an aggressive Fox every game…but he just disappear……

He is not driving and not drawing foul….

p.s. The refs sucks…..at least I counted two times that there should have been “And-1″…but the refs just called side ball…….

TheGrantNapear
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January 2, 2023 4:47 am

This has been his MO his whole career, 6-7 years in now so don’t expect a change.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
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January 1, 2023 8:36 pm

I guess we really do have the “Can’t get more than five games over .500” curse. 😐

rockbottom
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January 1, 2023 8:48 pm

The Grizz play defense like the Kings need should . It is also true that the Kings got a bad whistle but not why they lost .

Putthegundown
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January 1, 2023 9:02 pm

Offense just goes too cold for too long.

Jack
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January 2, 2023 7:13 am
Reply to  Putthegundown

This game reminds me of last years fourth quarter. They turned the ball over and couldn’t hit their shots.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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January 1, 2023 11:23 pm

Kings simply couldn’t handle the physicality of the Grizzlies. All credit to them: SEGABABA, playing without their third-best player (and missed Clarke) and still outworked and outperformed the Kings. Just a good team, with a roster full of good players.

Hobby916
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January 2, 2023 4:57 am

They have a lot of blue collar, lunch pale type of guys

RikSmits
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January 2, 2023 8:17 am

Steven Adams said that the Kings struggle at the rim and lack rim-protection; so their MO was to constantly atack the paint.

I think that is the main game plan most teams will use against us, and it is up to Monte and Brown to search for an answer there.

As discussed before, rim protection is more than just having a shot blocker, it is also keeping players from getting into the paint unoposed. The resistance against penetratiuon is sorely lacking.

When we have the firepower to keep pace offensively, it is something we can overcome. But outside shooting is an eratic issue and that is where stout defense and hard work is a good equalizer. As you alude to, the Grizzlies have that on a much more consistent basis than we have.

Jack
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January 2, 2023 8:53 am
Reply to  RikSmits

You hit the nail on the head in both accounts. At first we wanted a 3 and D and still do but rim protection IMO is the problem right now. I have always harped on defense as the constant. Hope we coaching or MM can fix this.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 2, 2023 8:20 am

By my count this is the third loss for the Kings facing a team coming off a SEGABABA, and it’s happened twice at home. These are the games you just need to take advantage of. Memphis is a very good team and playing at home, but they were also a bit banged up an on tired legs. I had it as a schedule loss, but I did expect more from the Kings. They looked like the tired team.

AnybodyButBagley
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January 1, 2023 11:29 pm

Teams clearly understand that if you get a little physical with Fox his game is going to suffer dramatically.

TheGrantNapear
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January 2, 2023 4:49 am

He’s soft as butter.
Ox and Davion are the only tough players we have.

Jack
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January 2, 2023 7:20 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I can’t believe you. Fox has one bad game, only makes a medium of 19 points and you are ready to bury him alive. Fox is having a great year and is human as we all are. He and Domantas along with others have gotten the Kings within the playoffs, so far closer than the last 16 years. If you constantly want to bring the Kings down instead go root for the Lakers. GO FOX and GO KINGS.

Jack
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January 2, 2023 7:31 am
Reply to  Jack

PS. Go get 2 stiches over you eye and go whatever. Enough said.

TheGrantNapear
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January 2, 2023 7:39 am
Reply to  Jack

Thanks for telling me how to fan. Much appreciated 👍

Daydreamer
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January 2, 2023 9:37 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I think that’s a lame response to what Jack wrote.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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January 2, 2023 12:03 am

Who else could it be but Domantas Sabonis? 18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists. Sabonis notched his 13th straight double-double, tying DeMarcus Cousins and LaSalle Thompson in Kings history for consecutive double-doubles.

How apt:

This game clarifies – at least to me – that this is Domantas Sabonis’ Team as we admire this double double achievement.

These Sacramento Kings are neither so dismal as to Tank and yet not strongly favorable enough to Boogie.

Last edited 1 year ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
TheGrantNapear
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January 2, 2023 4:52 am

Kangz are five back in the loss column from having the best record in the league with the C’s and five back in the loss column from having the 6th worst record in the league a long with the Lakers.

rockbottom
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January 2, 2023 7:17 am

In 2023 the Kings are 19 and 15, which no person expected ,and very much a fun team to watch and support ! Just wish the announcing team would focus on the game instead of various long winded stories during live action .

krswin
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January 2, 2023 7:57 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I usually just wish the announcers would go away.

Marty
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January 2, 2023 8:51 am
Reply to  rockbottom

Yea I’m crossing my fingers they make a change this off-season, they need a new color person in the worst way.

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2023 3:21 pm
Reply to  Marty

I’d take a flyer on Matt Barnes. Pair him with Krista Blunk on PBP.

You satisfy the former Kings player checkbox from Barnes and a Sacramento connection from both.

Last edited 1 year ago by BeTheBall
Kingsguru21
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January 3, 2023 9:39 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Jones and Draper don’t bother me. But…I get why people aren’t big fans of either. I’m not sure I’d love Krista Blunk every night, but she’s a pro and would do it the best of her ability like Jones and Draper do now. But whatever microphone you’re used to hearing with Blunk now (She does Pac 12 womens sports right? Among other things?) I don’t think she’d sound the same doing Kings games. It’s no different than Jones or Draper in that regard. They sound foreign to long time Kings fans because they are.

I just wish Kayte didn’t say things that make me think she’s having a conversation in a bar mostly sloshed. It’s disconcerting because she isn’t drinking and I think she has more to add than she does typically on broadcasts. I just don’t know if we’re ever going to hear it as long as she is doing Kings games sadly.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kingsguru21
bjax1
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January 2, 2023 8:03 am

So in the vein of New Years, I’m taking stock of this team. Above 500. Check. Currently in the playoffs by record. Check. Top 2 players playing like all-stars. Check. Better Defense. Check. Better coaching. Check. Winning games at crunch time. Check. Better rebounding. Not so fast, but still a little better than last year. All in all this team is fun, and playing well. One loss to a top team on the road does not make me concerned. Let’s beat Utah on Tuesday!

eddie41
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January 2, 2023 10:53 am
Reply to  bjax1

that’s about right. Not the best game but it was also a road game at Memphis after New Year’s Eve following a beamaphoria in Sac.

billoddity
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January 2, 2023 8:10 am

This Grizzlies team is a tough matchup, they might end up in the finals… extremely athletic and physical with shooting, defense and rebounding. I think the kings need to add more physicality and skill in place of this glut of forwards to be on this level.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 2, 2023 8:22 am
Reply to  billoddity

They are very good. If each can stay healthy, I have my money on the Grizz or Clippers coming out of West this year.

RikSmits
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January 2, 2023 8:26 am
Reply to  Adamsite

comment image?itok=vLdrloUQ

I actually agree; Luka probably lacks the teammates to reach the conference finals.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 2, 2023 9:05 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Agreed, and PHX lacks the grit. Memphis is at the precipice, but I honestly just can’t put anyone over a healthy Kawhi and PG13. That Clips team is scary good if fully healthy.

Jack
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January 2, 2023 10:49 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I agree. The other day I was discussing this with my 17 year old grandson. He said”Grandpa I think the team going into the playoffs who is the hottest will probably win.” If the Clippers are healthy and hot they have a great chance to win. I wouldn’t count out the Celtics.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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January 3, 2023 10:00 am
Reply to  Jack

Bucks – Middleton isn’t back yet, and to me, he is the other X factor for that team.
Fear the Deer!

Murf
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January 3, 2023 3:47 pm

Aren’t the Grizz just a mad match up for the Kings. Morant is a better Fox and Adams and the Grizz front line nullify Domas.

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