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Kings vs. Grizzlies Preview: Let’s keep those false play-in hopes alive!

Can the Kings win out the season???

Well folks, the San Antonio Spurs lost to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, which means we have to pretend that the Kings still have a chance at the play-in tournament! All they have to do is beat the better Memphis Grizzlies twice in a back-to-back series, including tonight, and then take on and defeat the number one-seeded Utah Jazz, while also hoping that the Spurs lose out the rest of the season.

Let's talk Kings basketball, baby!

When: Thursday, May 13th, 6:00 PM PST

Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN

TV: NBCSCA

RadioKHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

If the Kings want to keep their play-in hopes alive, they've got to beat a much better Memphis Grizzlies team, a team led by two rookie-scale studs in Ja Morant, aka De'Aaron Fox Jr., and Jaren Jackson Jr., aka Jaren Jackson Jr, and Jonas Valanciunas, the NBA's number one double-double machine.

As flashy and as fun as Morant and Jackson Jr. are on any given night, the key to a Sacramento victory tonight may very well reside in stopping Valanciunas, who is currently listed as Questionable on the injury report with a sore back. The former Raptor stud has been incredibly solid for the Grizzlies since arriving a couple of years ago, and he currently ranks fourth in the NBA in rebounds per game, including an incredible 4.1 offensive boards on average. If Richaun Holmes and Damian Jones get pushed around on the glass, the Kings are going to have a very, very long defensive night in front of them, an area in which they already struggle mightily.

In addition to securing every available rebound, the Kings are also going to have to somehow keep the Grizzlies out of the paint, a task that starts, and mostly ends, with Delon Wright's defense of Ja Morant. When Morant gets a head of steam and penetrates the lane, he can manipulate the defense to his liking, often leading to an easy bucket for himself or a teammate. Currently, Memphis ranks number one in the league in points in the paint, averaging 55.7 per game, while the Kings surrender the second-most points in the paint per game at 53.4. This thing could get ugly if Sacramento allows Memphis to get into any sort of rhythm inside.

Prediction

The Kings win because they like to drag out our last remaining thread of hope until the last moment before inevitably crushing our souls.

Kings 111, Grizzlies 104

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Jman1949
May 13, 2021 11:10 am

Last game ‘gainst the Griz left us hurting.
This time need to be more asserting.
Looks like Jonas may sit,
So he won’t take the hit
And so we can’t send him inverting!

Kosta
May 13, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Haha, that was perfect.

1951
May 13, 2021 11:11 am

The slow and painful death of a season trudges on!

ZillersCat
May 13, 2021 1:00 pm
Reply to  1951

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1951
May 13, 2021 11:15 am

BTW – Ya’ll should listen to the Sam Amick interview on the CD show this morning.

In discussing the Monty/Walton dynamic he dropped some nuggets about the Vivek/Monty dynamic in the wake of the Vlade departure, including this concerning grouping of words:

Vivek took back some of his power with the latest front office hire.

Amick discusses that – by all accounts – Vivek felt let down by giving Vlade more power only to fail and that we should not trust that he hired Monty just to give Monty free control of BBops! To the contrary, the hire appears to be made with consideration of the opposite, so that Vivek goes back to asserting more control over basketball decisions.

It’s another must listen from Amick.

Last edited 1 month ago by 1951
RikSmits
May 13, 2021 11:19 am
Reply to  1951

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1951
May 13, 2021 11:23 am
Reply to  1951

Oh, and the “Prep the Fans for the Return of Luke” media tour marches on. Amick says he doesn’t know, but then describes all the indications pointing to a return. It all depends on what Vivek wants.

If I was forced to bet at this point, he’s coming back.

(Especially coupled with the news of Vivek’s involvement, if he still sees Luke as a Warriors 2.0 connection!)

Last edited 1 month ago by 1951
RikSmits
May 13, 2021 11:28 am
Reply to  1951

I get more and more the sense that Monte knew that things were about to implode in Houston and was willing to take any NBA job opportunity that presented itself. Even one where he would be substantially limited in autonomy power.

1951
May 13, 2021 11:31 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, the evidence is pointing to him accepting this position with his eyes wide open as to what it is and what it isn’t.

andy_sims
May 13, 2021 1:07 pm
Reply to  1951

“evidence” lulz

1951
May 13, 2021 1:51 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I don’t understand the quotation marks here.

Kosta
May 13, 2021 2:01 pm
Reply to  1951

“quotation” lulz

andy_sims
May 13, 2021 2:03 pm
Reply to  1951

Pile up the evidence and show how it proves the theory that McNair took a job, with the condition that the owner be allowed to meddle as he sees fit.

It’s also bold to assume that McNair wouldn’t have stayed at Morey’s right hand in Philly.

RikSmits
May 13, 2021 2:07 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

still thinking this is a criminal law blog, Andy?

This is getting tired, without a reasonable doubt.

1951
May 13, 2021 2:20 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Did you listen to Sam Amick?

Do you have evidence or information or whatever you want to call it to say that your assumptions and hopes are more accurate than Sam Amick’s reporting?

And, BTW, similar information is leaking out through all sorts of local media sources.

Last edited 1 month ago by 1951
Greg
Admin
May 13, 2021 3:07 pm
Reply to  1951

Sam could be correct that Vivek is taking more control, but that doesn’t mean McNair knew or agreed to that when he came in.

Otis
May 13, 2021 3:13 pm
Reply to  Greg

That may be true, but if so, it could mean McNair didn’t do much research on his employer.

Greg
Admin
May 13, 2021 3:32 pm
Reply to  Otis

The argument can’t be “he didn’t do research” in the same argument where we’re saying “Vivek is taking back power because he gave Vlade a long leash”. If Vivek gave Vlade decision making authority (which aligns with what we’ve heard where Vlade decided Bagley even though Vivek was leaning Luka), then that would be what McNair would have heard about Vivek, that yes he meddles but in the end he let Vlade make some big calls that Vivek didn’t agree with.

1951
May 13, 2021 3:45 pm
Reply to  Greg

Vivek is taking back power because he gave Vlade a long leash

I very much doubt that Vivek’s reputation around the league would be based on the exception to his otherwise well known tendencies.

1951
May 13, 2021 3:50 pm
Reply to  Greg

that yes he meddles but in the end he let Vlade make some big calls that Vivek didn’t agree with

So Monty is just waiting out the first 3-4 years of the job to get to the point where he gets to make all the decisions?
comment image

😉

LaBradfordsCreditCard
May 13, 2021 9:09 pm
Reply to  Greg

So freaking tired of this narrative … if Vivek wanted Luka, then tell Vlade and Bagley to fuck off and draft Luka. It’s Vivek’s team. Ergo, if Vivek wants something done a certain way, then make it happen.

1951
May 13, 2021 3:43 pm
Reply to  Greg

On the other hand, the dynamics of this franchise and its chairman are and have been well known. Are you suggesting that Monty took the job and had no clue that Vivek likes to be involved in basketball decision making?

Or maybe that Vivek duped him like PDA did to Rudy?

To me, the simplest explanation from the information being reported is that Monty likely knew what he was getting into when he took the job. He knew Luke was here. He knew who Vivek is. Otherwise, the implications are that Monty made a really big career decision based on ignorance, lack of preparation and due diligence, or pure unabashed deceit from Vivek.

rockbottom
May 13, 2021 4:46 pm
Reply to  1951

He was looking for a job ! Was not getting the Houston job or opportunity to go with Morey ! Philly kept their FO in place and just added Morey ! When you need a job you agree to a lot of things ! Real world ! Wish him well under very difficult circumstances !

Kosta
May 13, 2021 12:34 pm
Reply to  1951

Luke Walton and Monty McNair could be just the type of guys that Vivek likes to have “in charge”….that won’t question his weird suggestions like Malone would.

Vivek, hope you’re happy with the shameful playoff drought you are a part of. Own up to the role you played in this and stop using escape goats. You’re at the top of this mess.

Kosta
May 13, 2021 12:21 pm
Reply to  1951

Paging Bill Board. Paging Bill Board.

PhutureKings
May 13, 2021 12:49 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I’m willing to throw in a few bucks.

TerzoM
May 13, 2021 2:42 pm
Reply to  PhutureKings

Change.org petition to the Commish

Gregoryl
May 13, 2021 2:44 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

I like that

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
May 13, 2021 3:37 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Bill Board Baggins.

‘I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.’

PhutureKings
May 13, 2021 12:51 pm
Reply to  1951

I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate an owner more than I hated the Magoofs. Yet, here we are.

andy_sims
May 13, 2021 1:08 pm
Reply to  PhutureKings

Get back to me the second or third time Ranadive tries to move the team.

RobHessing
May 13, 2021 2:13 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Tell you what – he could move this shitshow tomorrow and as long as he makes good on his lease, I wouldn’t lose one iota of sleep over it.

AmateurNerd
May 13, 2021 2:25 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Vivek’s purchase of the Kings is akin to an animal abuser adopting a dog from a high-kill shelter. The dog may have been better off not being “saved.”

BeTheBall
May 13, 2021 3:54 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yep, while it’s fun having the option to watch Haliburton possibly blossom into a top talent in person, over the last 10 years or so (with the feeling accelerating over the last 4 or 5) I’m finding myself caring less and less about whether or not the city has this particular organization.

RORDOG
May 13, 2021 12:52 pm
Reply to  1951

The Vivek situation is always a dark cloud hanging over Golden 1 obviously. CD did add that McNair told him off the record “it was a prearranged marriage that’s worked beautifully.” Point being, I don’t think we should assume every bad decision was because McNair wanted to do the right thing, but was overruled by Vivek.

1951
May 13, 2021 12:57 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I am not assuming that. And I would be surprised if Vivek is involved in all the detail moves, such as “get Moe Harkless” or TD or Delon Wright. I would think those types of moves are likely squarely within Monty’s preview.

The bigger names (starters on the team … cough Buddy cough Barnes), the draft picks, the coach, I bet that is where Vivek is back to pushing his weight around.

Also, if Monty knows that Luke is Vivek’s guy then he is going to make a solid effort to make that relationship work.

“Prearranged marriage” suggests to me a certain level of “it’s not my choice but … .”

Last edited 1 month ago by 1951
RORDOG
May 13, 2021 1:07 pm
Reply to  1951

Well I think it was prearranged as in “if you want the job then you have to keep Luke around for at least X amount of time due to financial issues. If you want to replace Luke after X amount of time, then you’ll need to present a compelling pitch to replace him to me (and Aneel and Dumars).

Also, I don’t necessarily think Vivek is in love with Walton. If you remember, Vivek was talking shit about Walton on that group text just last season. If I had to guess part of the issue is that Vivek gave Vlade the autonomy to replace Joerger with Walton, and then the team regressed under Walton, and it pissed Vivek off.

Gregoryl
May 13, 2021 1:27 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

And Sam said the Monte hire was b/c Vivek wanted someone “malleable”…which is defined as “easily influenced”….

We got problems folks.

RORDOG
May 13, 2021 1:32 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

We’ve had problems for 15 years, so nothing new really.

Gregoryl
May 13, 2021 1:35 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Truth, small edit: “We got kind of new, b/c its similar to the Pete D era but not that new b/c this owner sucks, problems folks”

RikSmits
May 13, 2021 1:37 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

People were hoping/expecting that Vivek would learn, and that Monte was strong/savvy enough not to take the job if he would be handcuffed.

I guess there are more and more indications that this is not the case yet.

RORDOG
May 13, 2021 1:45 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Well yeah that’s true. If you gave me the choice between McNair needing sign off on big moves, and fully autonomous Vlade, then I’d still take McNair.

RikSmits
May 13, 2021 1:50 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Yeah, that remains to be seen. If Walton, Buddy and Barnes are untouchable by Vivek’s edict, and that could be the case, I see no clear path to significant improvement in the near future.

RORDOG
May 13, 2021 2:08 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Well we do know that McNair has explored the possibility of trading both Barnes and Buddy already, so they’re not untouchable. We also know that Vivek wanted to keep Bogi, and ultimately he acquiesced.

But regardless of all that Vlade one of the worst GMs in the history of the NBA. Part of the reason he was fired was because Vivek didn’t like his decision making process during the Bagley draft and the Walton hiring. There’s a slim chance Vivek is just trying to ensure that there’s a more methodical decision making process in place. That’s at least what happened during the recent GM search. There were still flaws in the process, but it’s like the Arrested Development gif I like to post from time to time. Maybe the Kings have moved from “Sell” under Vlade to “Don’t Buy” under McNair.

Gregoryl
May 13, 2021 2:16 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Do we know that McNair has shopped Buddy or Barnes? Do we also know Vivek didn’t support the Bagley draft or Walton hiring? I don’t recall seeing this anywhere…

RORDOG
May 13, 2021 2:43 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

I guess we don’t know they actively tried to trade Buddy. Here’s what was said last offseason:

“One top team official deemed the Bahamian sharpshooter untradeable with his four-year, $86 million contract, which includes likely incentives that would push it to $94 million,” Anderson wrote. “However, not everyone shares that view.”

He was untradeable, not because Vivek wanted to keep him, but because there was no trade market for him. That at least implies that the trade market was explored. Here’s more:

  • I didn’t say that he didn’t support Vlade hiring Walton and Bagley, but I wasn’t very clear on that. Vivek questioned Vlade’s decision making process after the fact on both those decisions. You can read more on that here.
  • Bogi went on the record with Amick, and he said Dumars and Vivek wanted him back, then he never got a call from McNair once he took over. Here’s Amick’s expanded thoughts on the tension between McNair and Vivek about the decision making authority on the decision to not match the ATL offer.
  • I’m not going to go back and find all the various articles that said McNair was open to trading Barnes, but he’d need to be “blown away.”
Gregoryl
May 13, 2021 2:51 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Thanks for all the hard work in finding your sources! I read the Buddy quote as the FO official thinking Buddy was untradeable, not that they were exploring trades for him. Like you said, Vivek questioned those calls after the fact, and that is BS. Again, for Barnes, what I read was more like he would sit back and wait for an offer to blow him away, not actively pursue anything himself.

Gregoryl
May 13, 2021 1:46 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Got to pay that mortgage….

Kosta
May 13, 2021 1:14 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

“it was a prearranged marriage that’s worked beautifully.”

Welp, I guess it’s time to celebrate this amazing season!
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Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
RORDOG
May 13, 2021 1:17 pm
Reply to  Kosta

TKH at McNair’s end of season press conference announcing Walton will stay on:
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Kosta
May 13, 2021 1:26 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on… shame on you. Fool me 15 NBA seasons—you can’t get fooled again.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
Carl
May 13, 2021 2:54 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I’ll give the guy some credit. That was a quality dodge.

Kosta
May 13, 2021 3:48 pm
Reply to  Carl

Shoe-in? PLAY-IN!

BeTheBall
May 13, 2021 3:58 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I’m still disappointed the throws didn’t connect.

TerzoM
May 13, 2021 2:41 pm
Reply to  1951

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RikSmits
May 13, 2021 11:16 am

Beat them Grizziles!
(Check the title, Tim)

andy_sims
May 13, 2021 11:21 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I suppose they have been grizziled from Vancouver to Tennessee.

Greg
Admin
May 13, 2021 3:09 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I missed that when I edited. Fixed now. Thanks!

andy_sims
May 13, 2021 11:20 am

Well, I suppose if JV is a double-double machine, then they should try to break both of his arms.

Fuck that guy. Dirtiest play I’ve seen in years, and cost a guy a full month that he really could have used.

Otis
May 13, 2021 2:20 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I was shocked there was no real talk of suspensions, etc. The whole thing still makes no sense.

1951
May 13, 2021 2:22 pm
Reply to  Otis

Yeah, that was bizarre how quiet was the response to that play.

Carl
May 13, 2021 2:55 pm
Reply to  Otis

It was absolutely ridiculous. If I’m the coach or GM, I yell about it publicly until they fine me. I sincerely hope someone (anyone) puts JV on his ass.

Hozr
May 13, 2021 7:07 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

When JV gets the ball in the paint I hope the Kings remember one of DC’s favorite quotations, “If you’re gonna foul a guy, FOUL HIM”!

aplumley
May 13, 2021 11:25 am

I’ve considered Memphis a similar team to the Kings the past few years. I’m not sure I’d call Memphis “better” if both teams were at full strength. Both have two solid rookie scale guys that they are building around and I’m not trading Hali/Fox for Jackson Jr./Morant. Their supporting cast might be stronger than the Kings though when you compare Clarke, Anderson, Jonas, and Allen to Barnes, Bagley, Holmes, Wright, Davis and Harkless, but not by much.
But the Kings aren’t at full strength, so yeah Memphis at full strength is better than the Kings missing three of their top players.

Otis
May 13, 2021 2:40 pm
Reply to  aplumley

The Grizzlies are above .500 and 14th in the league in Net Rating (and 6th in defense). They are clearly better. As they were last season.

Otis
May 13, 2021 2:49 pm
Reply to  Otis

And the Grizzlies haven’t really been at full strength all season, since JJJ has hardly played.

Jman1949
May 13, 2021 3:04 pm
Reply to  Otis

It’s also not a given that the Grizzlies see JJJ as a foundational piece. Going into tonight, he has played in only 6 more games than has MB3. Just this morning I noticed a report that the Knicks think JJJ might be available this summer:

https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/262568/Grizzlies-Concerned-About-Durability-Of-Jaren-Jackson-Jr

RobHessing
May 13, 2021 11:51 am

Sacramehnto. Mehmphis.comment image
Mehxt.

Wilson
May 13, 2021 12:12 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Chimezie Meh2 likes this.

1951
May 13, 2021 12:14 pm
Reply to  Wilson

Mehnty MehcNair, not so much!

LaBradfordsCreditCard
May 13, 2021 9:14 pm
Reply to  1951

I like to refer to him as Vlonty McDivac.

andy_sims
May 13, 2021 12:33 pm
Reply to  Wilson

I mean, ChiMEHzie was right there, man.

Malrock
May 13, 2021 12:37 pm

We are gong to win and and SAS is going to loose their last 3. We are play-in bound!

RobHessing
May 13, 2021 12:49 pm
Reply to  Malrock

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ZillersCat
May 13, 2021 1:02 pm
Reply to  Malrock

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Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
May 13, 2021 2:34 pm
Reply to  Malrock

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Otis
May 13, 2021 2:39 pm
Reply to  Malrock

Yes, and Amazon is going to accidentally deliver a Playstation 5 to my doorstep tonight!

TerzoM
May 13, 2021 2:50 pm
Reply to  Otis

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Otis
May 13, 2021 2:53 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

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