MEMPHIS, Tenn. Kings coach Michael Malone is prepared to deal with “the engine” of the Memphis Grizzlies.
That’s not star power forward Zach Randolph. Nor is that reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol.
Malone is speaking of point guard Mike Conley.
Conley is averaging a career-high 18 points and 6.5 assists.
“I think he’s one of, if not the most underrated players in the NBA,” Malone said. “I’ve always been a big Mike Conley fan. He’s a guy that plays at a high level on both ends of the floor.”
It would make sense Malone would be a fan of Conley. Malone is a defensive-minded coach and Conley is one of the best defensive point guards in the league.
“A lot guards are one-way players but Mike Conley can disrupt your offense,” Malone said. “He’s a good on-ball defender, he’s always going to get his steals. He runs his team and lately he’s been real aggressive.”
*Rudy Gay has already had one “return” to Memphis as he played here as a Raptor. Gay said the focus tonight is “getting a win.”
Prediction time: With Gasol still not fully back after returning from his knee injury, DeMarcus Cousins has a big advantage.
If the Kings limit turnovers this game is winnable.
Kings 101, Grizzlies 97
My record: 21-16