Team Records: Sacramento (6-12) at Portland (8-11)
Game Info: 7 PM-TV on KGW/NBATV , Radio on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM
Vegas Line: Portland -6.5
Refs: James Capers, Olandis Poole, Sean Wright.
The Skinny: The Blazers return home from their seven game road trip to begin a season-long six game homestand. The Blazers might have gone 2-5 on this trip but in the process they found an identity as a team that doesn’t know how to quit no matter how bleak a particular game looks. The Kings come into this game fresh off a win over the Magic Friday night at home. This is the first of three matchups between Portland and Sacramento this month.
Last Time They Met: The Blazers won their only non-OT road game of the season as they pulled away from the DeMarcus Cousin-less Kings in the third and didn’t look back.
Projected Kings Lineup:
PF-Jason Thompson (Rider-5th Season) 11 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.1 APG
SF-John Salmons (Miami (FL)-11th Season) 7.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.4 APG.
C-DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky-3rd Season) 16.6 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2 APG
SG-Tyreke Evans (Memphis-4th Season)-15.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.7 APG.
PG-Aaron Brooks (Oregon-5th Season)-7.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.2 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, leading to among other things his suspension for yelling at a broadcaster that saw him miss the last game vs. Portland. 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: “Homeward Bound” by Simon and Garfunkle-After a long road trip its great to have the Blazers back home, and this song celebrates how home is the best place to be. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-SG Elliot Williams (Achilles), SG Will Barton (D-League), SF Victor Claver (D-League), Probable-SF Nicolas Batum (Back), PF Joel Freeland (Eye).
Sacramento: Questionable-SG Tyreke Evans (Knee).
Re-Evaluating Sacramento: Portland South?:
There may be no franchise with more Portland connections than the Sacramento Kings. Besides their President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie (the 1970-71 rookie of the year for Portland), the Kings also employ several other former Blazers. GM Wayne Cooper played for the Blazers from five seasons in two different stints and assistant coach Jim Eyen was an assistant for Portland from 1997-2001. Oh and lets not forget ex-Blazer Travis Outlaw, who now plays for Sacramento. While this means little, it is still interesting that the opposing NBA team closest to Portland also has deep ties to Portland itself.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They are focused. This is a team Portland should beat if they are ready to go. Assuming Batum plays, there is no reason Portland can’t simply win if they show up with reasonable effort.
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.