After a one week hiatus, the Sacramento Kings return to the court tonight to face off against the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies at home.
The Grizzlies have raised lots of eyebrows after doing exactly what Kings fans wish their team would be accomplishing this year. After getting rid of Conley and Gasol, it looked like Memphis was starting the process of a long rebuild, but results have been immediate.
Being a playoff team if the season ended today with young pieces in Jaren Jackson, Dillon Brooks, Ja Morant, as well as a newly acquired Justise Winslow, the city of Memphis has a lot to look forward to in their future.
Which brings us to Sacramento. Another small market team with young pieces in the midst of a rebuild. The difference is Memphis is succeeding after only half a season while the Kings haven’t once smelt success in nearly 14 years.
Contrary to last season’s promising conclusion, the Kings have taken a step back this year, having lost all hope of making a playoff push. Even if they beat the Grizzlies twice in the next eight days, Sacramento is looking into a wide abyss.
On a brighter note, though it can’t get much dimmer, Jabari Parker will likely make his mildy anticipated Kings debut.
Along with Alex Len, both players have yet to play a game for the Kings since arriving from Atlanta as they have been injured.
With Len still unavailable tonight, and with Holmes and Bagley still some time away from a return, look for Jabari to play important minutes and to see time at the center position.
The Kings have shown to thrive with a smaller lineup, and with the lack of available big man, Parker’s size and athleticism should fit nicely in a small ball lineup.
It’s just the kind of season to fiddle around with different options and lineups in order to gain better traction down the road. With high upside in Parker, young talent, and the possibility of additions, the Kings could potentially have a turnaround next season. Though it would surely not be as swift as what’s taking place in Memphis, tonight could be the beginning of a new direction towards eminent success.
I mean, heck, they’re due. Right?