Preview: Blazers at Kings, Preseason Game 2

Same song, second verse. Much less louder, hopefully not worse. Full preview after the jump.

THE OPPONENT

The Blazers are undefeated in the preseason with a 1-0 record, tied for first place in the Western Conference and well on their way to home court advantage in the NBA Preseason Finals Championship Series, which will be the first NBA championship game not broadcast on live television since 1981.

Portland is led by LaMarcus Aldridge, who in this preseason is averaging a robust 20 points and five rebounds a game.

You will already know to visit Blazersedge for exquisite, piercing analysis of the Blazers and the league. And the shoes and cars that NBA players wear and drive.

THE KEY BATTLE

(Note: Sactown Royalty is currently looking for an area locksmith or piano tuner to serve as the lead sponsor for "The Key Battle" segment.)

Tonight's Key Battle will be Travis Outlaw vs. Omri Casspi. Outlaw scored 10 points in 20 minutes in Portland's preseason debut, drawing oohs and aahs from the extended Outlaw family. Casspi is leading the NBA with a field goal percentage of 100%. Casspi is also leading the NBA in effective field goal percentage (112.5%), True Shooting percentage (112.5%), two-point shooting percentage (100%) and three-point shooting percentage (100%). He is, however, tied for last in the NBA in free throw shooting (0%).

In this key battle, look for Outlaw to attempt to score points on Casspi while doing what he can to help his team win (as long as that doesn't conflict with the primary goal of scoring points). Also look for Casspi to attempt to score points and try to help his team win. That will be the focus of these young stars-in-the-making.

INTERESTING SIDESHOW

The Socialist Pinko Commies otherwise known as Comrade Nate "Black Lenin" McMillan and Gregor Odynskiviya may have won the first round, but Truth will prevail for haught-blooded REAL AMERICANS Paul Westphal and Spencer Hawes. Where is Greg Oden's REAL birth certificate, anyways? I have sources in Indiana who have acquired his real birth certificate -- he was NOT a naturalized New Yorker as claimed! He is only 16 years of age, and thus will not be eligible for the NBA until the 2013-14 season. TELL THE TRUTH, GREG ODEN!

WILD GUESS OF THE EVENING

(Note: Sactown Royalty is currently looking an area distributor of Wild Turkey or zoo enthusiast to serve as the lead sponsor for the "Wild Guess of Evening" segment.)

Maloof Sports and Entertainment will sell 217 Polish dogs. Fourteen of them will be sold to Jon Brockman. One of those will be swiped by Spencer Hawes with the (tenuous, in my opinion) explanation that rookies must pay their veterans a Polish dog tax equivalent to 7.1%. Economics wonk Truck Robinson will note aloud that as Polish dogs from live sporting events could be considered luxury items, Hawes's Polish dog tax is basically a progressive tax. Hawes will eventually quietly pay Brockman for the meal and apologize for introducing "bourgeois bullsh*t" into their friendship.

REAL TALK

There's no word as to whether Desmond Mason will be available for Westphal. Despite my general attitude toward Mason's presence on the roster, I actually hope he is available and does play, given that Westphal seems enthusiastic about his ability to help the starters on defense and on the boards. (Certainly, though, the great board work of the bigs, Evans and Garcia made Mason's slightly above average rebounding discardable.) Now is the time to figure out if Mason is the right fit for the small forward position.

On the topic of the small forward position, I do hope Andres Nocioni gets the night off so that Casspi can get big minutes early. Westphal said through camp that Casspi would be a project; Casspi promptly aced his first game experience. It's up to Casspi to prove he can't do it before Westphal can bury him going into the regular season. (Yes, it's just been one exhibition game, but it's bizarro Douby at this point. Douby lit up practice but sucked during gameplay; Casspi has reportedly been uneven in practice -- though that's been a bit debated, he has a beautiful stroke, and is smart and energetic -- but brilliant in nine NBA preseason minutes.)

DETAILS

No television anywhere, thus no illicit internet fjords anywhere. It will be on the radio: KHTK 1140 AM in the Sacramento area. Also, it will be live at ARCO Arena. Tickets are still available. Lots of tickets. Very available. The tip-off is slated for 7PM Pacific.

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