Kings (4-7) at Grizzlies (3-7)
Scoring: Kings 13th (98.3), Grizzlies 25th (92.8).
Shooting: Kings tied for second (47.9 percent), Grizzlies tied for 24th (42.8).
Scoring defense: Kings 27th (103.1), Grizzlies 21st (98.5).
Shooting defense: Kings 27th (46.7 percent), Grizzlies tied for 12th (43.4).
Three-point defense (being watched in the House of Maloof): Kings 29th (41.1 percent), Grizzlies 20th (35.8).
Turnovers (ditto): Kings 27th (16.6), Grizzlies tied for 23rd (16.2).
The links: Grizzlies coverage in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
The almanac: Nothing much happened on this date in history.
That's a start right there: he understands the urgency. Kevin Martin is out with a sprained ankle. Francisco Garcia is out with a strained calf. The Kings need perimeter bodies. Douby, so far down the bench most of the last two seasons that cars had to steer around him on Truxel, needs an opportunity.
Welcome to it.
There's every chance this goes bad for Douby once the roster heals -- nothing should stand in the way of Martin moving from rising star to potential actual All-Star and Garcia is an important, versatile piece. But for now, Douby is getting a public vote of confidence that, however short lived, is as noticeable as it is telling on the challenge of being Reggie Theus.
Two close games in a row against teams that figure to make the playoffs, two close games in a row that Theus got Douby the ball for the win in final possessions. Friday vs. Phoenix was at the end of regulation, an eventual 97-95 loss in overtime, and Sunday vs. San Antonio was a straight-away three-pointer with about a second remaining to turn a 90-88 deficit into victory.
Neither went in. The Kings also went to Jason Thompson out of a timeout in an 88-88 game against the Spurs, so Theus is investing heavily in developing players, as his bosses want. Theus is also stringing together near misses at the same time as his bosses are talking playoffs. Good luck with that contradiction.
Bobby Jackson the last two games: 11 and nine minutes.
Douby the last two games: 19 and 25 minutes.
Two games is a very limited sample, except that it's two games against good teams and with the chance to win. Better yet, the first two games after Joe Maloof says the playoffs should be a realistic goal, and there's Theus going to a guy shooting 36.7 percent for the wins.
The Kings loved what they saw from Douby in camp, before being slowed by a sprained ankle, so he was in line for a promotion anyway. But they also declined to pick up the 2009-10 option, making him a free agent after this season.
Douby ducks none of this, which is a good thing. He is living in this world.
The interview after the second heartbreak, Sunday against the Spurs:
Question: What does it mean to you, confidence wise, that he looked to you for the last shot at the end of regulation and then the end of the game two games in a row?
Answer: It means a lot to me that coach has faith in me. I shoot lights out in practice. He's having faith in me to put me in the game and put me in situations like that. Unfortunately, they didn't drop. But I definitely got good looks. It makes me feel good that coach has faith in me.
Q: Are you surprised at all?
A: I'm not going to lie. I was injured a little. I came back from injury and I didn't play a couple of games. Then I just started to get into the rotation and he's having a lot of faith in me, so I'm definitely surprised. But I know how hard I work and I know how well I do in practice. I knew it was going to work out somehow.
Q: How difficult has it been for you? You were good in camp. They really liked the way you were playing. Then the injuries made it such a stop-and-start situation for you. How frustrating has that been?
A: It's been real frustrating. I was shooting lights out, doing extremely well in practice, and went for a pull-up, came down on somebody's foot and twisted my ankle. That slowed me down a lot. Then I tried to come back early, then I re-sprained it. It's still a little tender right now. But Pete (Youngman, the trainer) and Manny (Romero, the assistant trainer) are doing a good job taking care of my foot so I won't get hurt again.
Q: Are you conscious of how urgent it is for you to take advantage of this opportunity, that you're probably not going to have it again where Kevin Martin is hurt and Francisco Garcia is hurt?
A: I definitely know. Those are major parts of our team and this is my opportunity now. I'm going to continue to try to do what I've got to do to help the team win. When they come, I know my role is going to be shorter. Whether I'm playing 20, 30 minutes or 10 minutes, I've just got to go out there and play hard and contribute any way possible.
Q: Was not getting the (contract) extension a disappointment?
A: No, it wasn't a disappointment. That was their decision.
Q: In any way, does it take pressure off you once the decision was made?
A: It definitely did. I'm not waiting around and trying to prove stuff to them. I'm just being me and whatever happens, happens. That's the mentality I've got right now. I'm just going to continue to work.