Team Records: Portland (3-2) at Sacramento (1-4)
Game Info: 7 PM-TV on KGW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Sacramento -1
Refs: Ken Mauer, Tony Brown, Nick Buchert
The Skinny: The Blazers look to sweep a home and home as they travel to Sacramento fresh off a win against the Kings last night at home. The Kings are a much better team at home and are playing what is hopefully one of their last seasons at their oudated home arena.
Last Time They Met: The Blazers took an early lead and controlled the game most of the way, cruising to a 104-91 home win.
Projected Kings Lineup:
PF-Patrick Patterson (Kentucky-4th Season) 4.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, .5 APG.
SF-John Salmons (Miami (FL)-11th Season)-6.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3 APG.
C-DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky-4th Season)-18.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.8 APG
SG-Marcus Thornton (LSU-5th Season)-10.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, .8 APG.
PG-Greivis Vasquez (Maryland-4th Season)-9 PPG, 2 RPG, 3.8 APG
Player to Watch: DeMarcus Cousins (pictured at right)- Cousins is one of the bigger enigmas in professional basketball. Widely recognized as a talented player, his biggest problem has often been his inability to control his emotions. When he is on, however, he was on big time, averaging nearly a double-double and impressing at both ends of the court. He needs to have his emotions in check for the Kings to have a chance.
Did You Know?: In the 1920s, the franchise that would later become the Sacramento Kings was founded in Rochester, NY as the Rochester Seagrams, named after the local Seagrams distillery
Song of the Day: “What You Give” by Tesla, One of Sacramento’s best known bands and one of their best songs. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-PG CJ McCollum (Foot)
Sacramento: Out-PF Carl Landry (Hip)
Reevaluating Sacramento: Saving a Small Town Franchise
As a fellow fan of a small market team I have always felt a special bond with other small market teams. In a one team city, like Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City or San Antonio, the team forms a large portion of the identity and I will readily admit the thought of the Blazers not playing in Portland anymore scares the crap out of me. It looked like a year ago that Sacramento was on their way out. Yet, by the grace of a new owner, and more than a little interference from NBA Commissioner David Stern, the Kings stayed put. They look to be in Sacramento to stay. It’s awful when a team moves but when its the city’s only franchise, its doubly so. Good for Sacramento and ultimately good for the Kings.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They make someone other than Cousins beat them. As we saw last night, Cousins is very good but no one else really is. The Blazers need to keep that second threat from emerging if they want to win.
Sacramento wins if: They score at least 20 fast break points. The Kings are not a great offensive team. They will need to get a lot of easy baskets to have a shot against Portland.