Might as well call DeMarcus Cousins the MVP of the Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento was completely inept without the All-Star center and were throttled down low by the much larger and more aggressive Grizzlies frontcourt.
Out hustled, out rebounded, and outscored by Zach Randolph and Brandan Wright, the Kings gave the game away to the Memphis Grizzlies, 89 to 103. The third loss of the season for Sacramento, dropping their record to 1-3.
“We gave up too many easy baskets,” said Karl after the game. “We made no defensive plays.”
By now, it has to be abundantly apparent the Sacramento Kings have had a hard time winning without DeMarcus Cousins. Any team should if they lose their best player. Somehow the Kings seem to make it especially difficult on themselves.
This was the case last year when the Kings lost to the Grizzlies 97-85 behind the valiant effort of Reggie Evans. Who had a miraculous 17 point and 20 rebound effort.
Since then, the Kings have enhanced their roster leaps and bounds. Adding perimeter shooting, defense, size, and speed. This game should have been competitive at the very least.
After a second quarter where the Kings were able to make just two field goals, totaling 11 points, the Grizzlies were able to secure and sustain a lead in the capital city.
Exasperated by the Grizzlies defense, the Kings were not able to compete on either side of the ball. The guards of the Memphis Grizzlies had their way with a weaker Sacramento backcourt.
Ben McLemore III continued to struggle to find his shot and finished with two points on 1-5 shooting. Ben demonstrated little confidence within in his game and was outplayed by Grizzlies guard, Courtney Lee, who had 14 points on 6-12 shooting.
Just last season, against the Grizzlies, Mclemore had 17 points on 6-12 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds. A major improvement from his rookie campaign to his second year.
That same trajectory of improvement was expected for this season, yet Mclemore is struggling on both ends of the court.
Ben is currently has a PER of 3.1 and is averaging just five points on .300 field goal percentage and .273 from behind the arch.
“I’ve gone through a lot throughout my career, and I just gotta keep fighting,” Ben had said after the game. “My teammates have been a big part for me. They have been there for me, just like I would be there for them,” Ben continued.
While it has been an early struggle, Ben spends a large amount of his time after practice working on his shot and developing fluidity within his game.
This offseason, Ben had gained about eight pounds of muscle and really concentrated on his ball handling skills.
That much can be seen as Mclemore has been able to create better shots for himself off the dribble. Until those shots begin to fall, Ben will continue to see reduced minutes at the shooting guard.
Seeing more and more minutes has been the backup point guard, Darren Collison.
Something that Kings fans should get used to seeing as the season continues.
A win would have really helped out the Kings who play a very difficult schedule in the next couple of weeks. Taking on Phoenix tomorrow night, the Kings look to bounce before their All-Star center is expected to return to the court this Friday.
10:00 PM ET, November 3, 2015
Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
Mem: Z. Randolph 20 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast
Sac: R. Gay 19 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl