November 18, 2017, 6:28 am
In an NBA oddity, the Kings get set to battle the Blazers for the second night in a row after taking them down 86-82 in Sacramento last night. This time the two teams will square off in Portland as the Blazers look for revenge.
Dave Joerger switched up the rotation in Friday’s victory so it’ll be interesting to see whether he sticks with that moving forward. The fact that the Kings experienced success with the change could mean it remains that way for now.
Skal Labissiere was thrust into the starting lineup after having a minimal role so far this season. He did only play 17 minutes which is still lower than some desire, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Zach Randolph, who’s been heavily criticised for his play this season, only played 14 minutes in last night’s game and failed to register a single point. Willie Cauley-Stein had a monster night with 22 points and 10 boards off the bench so it’s no surprise to see Joerger roll with him. Whether that remains the case moving forward will be an interesting development.
Defensively the Kings were sensational holding the Blazers to just 37 percent shooting from the field. Sacramento showed cohesion on that side of the ball in a way they haven’t so far this season which is promising, but they’ll have to work hard to contain Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum like that again.
The Kings will have to do the exact same tonight if they want any form of success. Locking down the Blazers’ two stars will be key yet again so they need to place emphasis on that. Sacramento were far from perfect offensively shooting just 42.4 percent from the field, so against a team like the Blazers, defense will be what gets them over the line.
It became clear that the Blazers are a beatable team if you play them the right way. The Kings managed to sneak past them at home but it’ll be a different challenge playing in Portland. Can the Kings back up Friday’s win with another one on the road?
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – George Hill
SF – Garrett Temple
PF – Skal Labissiere
C – Zach Randolph
Buddy Hield (ankle) – OUT
Vince Carter (kidney stones) – OUT
Harry Giles (knee) – OUT
HOW TO WATCH
When: 7:00 p.m. PST (4:00 EST)
Where: NBC Sports California