The Portland Trail Blazers (1-1) will be in California’s capital in search of some revenge as they take on the Sacramento Kings(2-1) in their third preseason game. After losing to the Kings at the Moda Center 105 – 109, the Blazers bounced back for a huge performance against the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Allen Crabbe played a huge role in that 118 – 101 victory, leading the Blazers with 25 points off of 5-6 shooting from beyond the three-point stripe. Portland now looks to bring that same intensity to Sac-Town, despite the fact the Damian Lillard will be sitting this one out with a minor ankle injury.
Looking to prevent a 2-0 preseason sweep, the Trail Blazes will be depending on Al-Farouq Aminu’s ability to keep Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli from scoring 25+ points in an efficient manner. Belinelli dropped 32 points on Portland in their previous match-up and Rudy Gay has scored 26+ points in his last two games. No one else on the team has yet to show that they can take command of the game on the offensive end, meaning that Aminu will have the responsibility of forcing the Kings to shake up their offensive game plan. The defensive-minded Nigerian is going to be given one single goal tonight; to keep Gay & Belinelli under control on offense.
As previously stated, Damian Lillard will be taking the night off as he’ll be resting a minor ankle injury. Don’t think much of it, Rip City, it’s standard protocol to rest anyone who has any kind of discomfort in the preseason. He’ll possibly be back for the next game against the Utah Jazz, per Casey Holdahl. With that said C.J. McCollum, who refined his point guard skills with two-time MVP Steve Nash, will look to show off what he learned during the offseason against the defensive-minded Rajon Rondo. I have had my doubts about playing McCollum at the point as I consider him a pure undersized scoring guard with a lack of court vision, decision making, and defense. McCollum’s performance tonight will be one that I’ll watch closely because man oh man would he be a deadly weapon if he found himself comfortable playing either the PG or SG position.
Venue: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California
Date and Time: October 10, 2015 @7:00 PM
Radio: KPOJ Rip City Radio 620 AM
Blazers: Gerald Henderson – hip surgery (OUT), Maurice Harkless – concussion (OUT), Damian Lillard – ankle (OUT)
Kings: No injuries for the Kings have been reported.
KEYS TO THE GAME
*Stop Rudy Gay & Marco Belinelli from scoring 25+
*Shoot efficiently from 3
*Find point guard success without Damian Lillard
FAVORITE MATCH-UP TO WATCH
Al-Farouq Aminu vs Rudy Gay/Marco Belinelli: Italian shooting specialist Belinelli went off for 32 points against the Trail Blazers in their last preseason meeting last Monday. And then on Thursday, Gay dropped 26 points on the San Antonio Spurs off of 10-13 shooting. An abundance of the Kings’ scoring has come from the small forward position, where rock solid defender Aminu will start tonight. It should be noted that Aminu did not play in the first match-up between the Blazers and the Kings due to the birth of his daughter. He’ll be hungry for some serious revenge on the defensive end of the court.
Trail Blazers (97) – Kings (89)