Trail Blazers @ Kings Preview
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/12/2010 2:33 PM

    Trail Blazers/Kings Game 68 Preview

     After exerting a lot of emotion and energy during last night's win in Oakland against the Warriors, the Trail Blazers (39-28) stay in northern California for their second bout with the Kings (22-43) in just four days. Portland took the two prior meetings earlier this season at the Rose Garden, 95-88 and 88-81, but neither win was as comfortable as it should have been. Like most young teams, the Kings are a much different animal on their home floor, which has accounted for nearly 73% of their win total this year(16)and they have been prone to knocking off quality teams with wins over the Jazz, Raptors, and Clippers just in the past two weeks. Like last night's game in Oracle Arena, Portland must try to find a way to get a victory at Arco Arena, a place the Blazers have struggled mightily in as of late. The Trail Blazers are only 7-13 in their last 20 in the small, but vocal Arco Arena.

    Looking at the Kings game logs, the key to beating them at home lately is to score more than 100 points. Dating back to their last 10 home games, the Kings are 4-6. In the six losses, five times did they give up more than 100 points and in the four wins, they held their opponent under the century mark. Portland only averages 98.1 points on the road but have scoring in triple figures 11 straight times with an average of 106.4 points during that stretch. To add fuel to the fire, the Blazers are 22-8 when scoring over 100 points, a .733 winning percentage. To put that winning percentage into perspective, only the Cleveland Cavaliers current regular season percentage of .769 would top the Trail Blazers mark of .733.

    Although the players have to be exhausted after the late TNT start, especially Roy who willed the team to victory, seemingly doing everything for the team the entire night, this is a team which thrives on the second halves of back to back games. They are currently 13-3 in such situations. The slower tempo pace is one major reason why the Blazers have such success in back to back situations, because they don't have to change the way they play when they are tired. Also, the Blazer bench provides outstanding depth and added energy when the team needs a shot in the arm. During Tuesday's win, the bench for Portland was fairly mediocre, with only Webster scoring in double figures and getting outscored 22-23 by their Sacramento counterparts. Roy looks as if he's back, but I wouldn't bet on him scoring 40+ again, so the bench must achieve at least 25 points and completely outplay their fellow 2nd unit foes.

    There's not really much more that needs to be said which hasn't already been covered four days ago. As long as Portland controls Landry on the glass, keeps Evans out of the paint, and forces the entire Kings team into contested jump shots, the game is ours for the taking. Even though the Blazers have struggled to hit 100 against these Kings this season, their recent road scoring trends lead me to believe an offensive outburst is in order for tonight. I think the 4th quarter of last night's game finally awoke this team from their nonchalant, casual ways. Make no mistakes about it, the Kings will come to play and fight hard all night long, causing this matchup to be a back and forth affair. I have a feeling we'll see a much more efficient Aldridge tonight as he will lead the team in scoring en route to another back to back win. Also look for Miller to come up with crucial "stop the bleeding" type of plays and the back-court of Bayless and Rudy to bring the noise off the bench.

    Game 68 Prediction: Trail Blazers 103 Kings 97

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  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 03/12/2010 3:11 PM

    I would love to have Carl Landry on our squad. We need some tough, hard-nosed big men who are healthy. LaMarcus better bring his hard-hat and lunch pail the arena tonight, because we'll need him to simply out-muscle, out-work, and out-scrap the Kings tonight. Please do work in the post tonight LA! More post moves, less jumpers!
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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