Kings vs. Blazers Preview: Time to get back on the right track

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings take on Portland for the first time in two straight nights.

ENTER THE ROSE GARDEN MODA CENTER

The Kings have not had much success in Portland during the Sacramento era.  Out of 59 games played up North, Sacramento has won just 11.  Now the Rose Garden has changed names to the Moda Center, so let's hope some of that voodoo wears off.  I also expect we'll see some disgruntled Sonics fans in attendance.  Let's give them a good show.

A LOOK AT PORTLAND

The Blazers have been a really high octane team through four games.  They're averaging 105 points a game and are 4th in the league in offensive efficiency.  However they've also been the worst defensive team in the league so far with an atrocious defensive rating of 110.7.  That's good news for a Kings team that has struggled to score.  The Blazers have had both bad losses (Phoenix) and good wins (San Antonio).  If the Kings can slow down their offense a little bit while making them pay on the other end, they'll have a good chance.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Greivis Vasquez/Isaiah Thomas vs. Damian Lillard

This is kind of cheating to pick two players, but both of them will see plenty of time against Damian Lillard, who is averaging nearly 39 minutes a game.  Sacramento has faced a tough crop of Point Guards to start the season, and each one has punished Sacramento.  Lillard is possibly the most offensively gifted they have faced to date.  He's currently averaging 24.3 points on 45.5% shooting.  However he's hitting 48.5% of his threes while shooting an astounding 8.3 attempts a game.

PREGAME HAIKU

Tom is good at these

I am not so good at these

But I will try to

PREDICTION

Sacramento 107, Portland 101

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