The Kings are back home in Sacramento to face the Blazers for their first of three games in four nights.
Things are about to get weird in Kangzland. The Kings have limped home from an East Coast walloping, and without any to time lick their wounds; it’s Friday and they’re facing the 8-6 Portland Trail Blazers. Whatever comes of tonight’s contest, the Kings take off after the game for a Saturday night matchup on the road against… The Portland Trail Blazers! You read that right; the Kings have two opportunities to disappoint you in two days against the exact same team! If you haven’t been tuning in for Portland this year; you’re in for a surprise. (Hint: they play defense this year.) Here’s to the Kings not breaking any records in futility this time around.
Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Friday, November 17th; 7 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Portland in Perspective: Portland has played the third best defense in the NBA this year; both in opponent points per game (98.9 ppg) as well as defensive rating. Wait, wait... Will, you forgot a cute intro! Where’s the – No, folks. We’re getting this out of the way early so you can decide whether you want to spend your Friday night watching the Kings score 32 at halftime, the day after the Rockets score 45 points in each of the first two quarters of their game last night against the Suns. The Trail Blazers play legit defense and have only given up at 100+ points five times this entire this seasons; the Kings, for reference, have only scored 100+ a total of four times this season. Portland is 10th in the NBA in blocks, 9th in defensive and total rebounds, and 8th in player fouls. So they block a lot of shots, don’t foul too often, and according to the team’s 3rd best defensive rebounding rate, will grab 81.6% of available rebounds off of Kings misses. With the Kings taking the 5th most two pointers, and shooting a league worst 44.9% from inside the arc, the Blazers are gonna be grabbing 81.6% of approximately one zillion missed shots.
If that weren’t enough, the Trail Blazers have one of the most offensively gifted backcourts in the entire league. The one-two punch of Damien Lillard and CJ McCollum remains ridiculous. Lillard’s current line is 24.5 points, 6 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.2 steals and he’s started the season relatively cold; only 32.4% from three and 46% from inside the arc. McCollum is averaging 22.5-4.1-2.5 shooting 53% from deep and 43% on two pointers. Those two guys by themselves average only 5 points less than our top 5 guys in minutes combined. Heck, Lillard averages as many rebounds as Zach Randolph and is only .3 behind Kings rebounding leader Kosta Koufos. The rest of the offense ain’t shabby either. Though they average the 17th most points in the NBA (106.6 a game) and aren’t speedsters by any means with the 9th slowest pace, they’re 13th in offensive rating, 4th in 3 point shooting percentage at 39.3% and make the 9th most free throws in the league while shooting the second best percentage from the charity stripe at 82.5%. Oh, and when they do miss, they’re 5th in grabbing offensive rebounds. So yeah.
This is a classic case of offensively deficient underdogs, who can’t rebound, shoot, get to the foul line or play defense going up against a fantastic defense, who block shots, rebound at a high rate on both ends of the court with two fantastic scorers too boot. But what else are you gonna do, go see Justice League tonight? Hahaha! I’ll see you in the game thread.
Prediction: Last preview, I definitely jinxed viewers by saying somewhere if the Kings lost by more than 20 to the worst team in the East, I’d quit. Sacramento Kings players then collectively decided to sacrifice for the greater good (the greater gooood) of all you readers and lost by 40+ to send a resounding message that my writing is not appreciated in that locker room. So, let’s get funky.
If the Kings can beat the Blazer’s by 10 or score over 110 points today, I’m outtie!
Kings: 110, Blazers: 100, Will: double quits and moves to Zihuatanejo, Akis: Happy