The Sacramento Kings are in town to face the Blazers in what will be only Portland’s second home game in the last two weeks. An even nuttier stat: the Blazers only have 8 home games left. As a team trying to make a push towards the playoffs, home games against sub .500 teams in the month of March are a good thing. I will try my best not to nail the ‘you don’t lose to these teams’ point in your head too much even though it is the truth. You can’t deny that this is a big opportunity for Portland to not only bounce back but to add some padding to the standings. Trying not to hammer this point….struggling.
2009 was a pretty good year for Sacramento. Paul Westphal brought them some sort of life and they were sneakily becoming one of the more exciting teams to watch on League Pass. Tyreke Evans was beginning to take over the world in ways that nobody could have predicted. They surprised everyone by being near .500 at the end of the year (14-17). 2010? Not so much. 2010 has been a bad year for Sacramento. Since the beginning of January the Kings are a gross 7-25. Coming into tonight the Kings have lost 16 of their last 19 away from Arco Arena. The aforementioned Evans has been THE bright spot for this squad, all but locking up the Rookie of the Year. 20-5-4 as a rookie is not too shabby. They made a trade at the deadline that snagged them Carl Landry who is averaging 17 and 7 in 9 games as a King. Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes are the type of big men tha can either be nowhere to be found or absolutely on fire. The production at the SF has fallen by the way side as Omri Casspi has literally sprinted into the rookie wall and Donte Greene is struggling.
Now in the game against Denver, we see what happens to the Blazers when the defense is icky and Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge struggle. Basically, opposing teams do hoodrat things with their friends to us. I expect both the defense and the stars should bounce back. I doubt we’ll see any crazy double team schemes against Sacramento. The Blazers have to attack, attack, attack. The Kings give up 105 points a game, they are young and they are on the road. You won’t be getting top notch resistance tonight. If Portland plays with energy, effort and smarts they should have no problem with Sac-Town. If they let the Kings hang around or end up beating themselves, the RG will be full of disappointment.