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Portland Trail Blazers vs Sacramento Kings: Prediction, Betting Odds & Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Golden 1 Centre, Sacramento, CA

When: 9:00 PM EST, 1 January 2019

How (TV/Radio): NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Northwest | Rip City Radio 620, KHTK Sports 1140 AM

Portland Trail Blazers

Head Coach: Terry Stotts {All-Time 407-403 | ATL, MIL, POR}

The Portland Trail Blazers currently boast a record of 20-16 placing them in sixth in the Western Conference. Unfortunately for the Blazers, they share a record with the Los Angeles Lakers which puts them in a tie.

In their last ten, the Portland Trail Blazers are 5-5. In their last five, they’ve alternated wins and losses against some of the more talented Western Conference teams. Sacramento is right on their tale, just a game behind, so the Blazers will look for a win to separate themselves from the pack.

The Blazers will have a tough night on their hands against the Kings. The Kings are young, athletic, and shoot the three with the best of the league. Getting up on shooters will be a priority for the Blazers, while they also need to navigate the Kings defence and shot blocking.

Sacramento Kings

Head Coach: Dave Joerger {All-Time 225-220 | MEM, SAC}

The Kings sit behind the Portland Trail Blazers by a single game at 19-16. Luckily for the Kings, they’ve played two less games than the Spurs on their back so they have some buffer against their challengers.

In their last ten matches, the Sacramento Kings have gone 6-4. While they were blown out by the Timberwolves and the Thunder, they hung on to win nail biters against the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Trail Blazers are a team that play through their dynamic backcourt of Lillard and McCollum. Even on an off shooting night, their playmaking can be dangerous. It’s time for De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield to show that they can compete with the best.

What’s At Stake?

Two western conference teams meet again in a classic clash of west coast squads. The Portland Trail Blazers lead the all-time series 90-47.

At fifth in the Western Conference but just a game ahead of the Sacramento Kings, a win for the Portland Trail Blazers would place them just half a game behind the Clippers for fourth place.

The Sacramento Kings are currently eighth in the West, just a game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies on their heels. A win would tie them for seventh with the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

Questions to answer

Can the Blazers swing the ball to success?

Will the Kings maintain their hot shooting?

We are going to compare the Portland Trail Blazers and the Sacramento Kings in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Trail Blazers are 26th in assists

To say the Trail Blazers are a team reliant on their two stars is an understatement. No doubt, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are capable isolation threats. Both have proven over their careers that they can score with the best of the league and can win a game on their own.

Despite their individual talents, the Portland Trail Blazers have too much talent and range to forsake their bench. The Blazers boast seven players that shoot 34% or more from three and two of them are big men.

Nik Stauskas may be an X-Factor for the Blazers. He’s a streaky three-point shooter, but when he’s hot he’s difficult to stop. Against his former squad, the Canadian may have something to prove.

The Kings are 3rd in three-point percentage

The Sacramento Kings are a team filled with absolute snipers from three-point land. With nine, that’s right, nine player that shoot over 34% from three they’ve become a dangerous matchup for many teams.

Specifially, Bjelica, Hueld, and Shumpert are three players averaging over 40% from three. While the majority of those attempts are assisted, it speaks to the playmaking and maturity of the young Kings to follow-through as they have.

The Blazers will surely key in on their shooters. With long and switchable defenders like Leonard and Aminu, the Kings will have to do more than get open via screen. With his athleticism, don’t be surprised to see Willy Cauley-Stein to be given more opportunities as a finisher.

Portland Trail Blazers Roster Notes

The Trail Blazers have no roster changes of note.

Sacramento Kings Roster Notes

F-C Marvin Bagley (knee) expected to be reevaluated within the week.

Head-to-Head: vs

Damian Lillard

27.1 PPG | 5.8 APG | 4.7 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.6 TOV | .452 FG% | .401 3P%

De’Aaron Fox

18.0 PPG | 7.7 APG | 3.6 RPG | 1.7 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 3.1 TOV | .468 FG% | .393 3P%

Damian Lillard and De’Aaron Fox are two of the speediest players in the NBA. One a three-point gunner, the other more inclined to finish at the rack, both players bring similar skill sets and leadership qualities to the court.

Damian Lillard is an absolute star. At this point in his career, it is very clear what Lillard will attempt to do to defenders. Back them up to create a shooting opportunity or beat them off the bounce in order to score at the rim. The Kings have stout interior defenders, so we’ll see how Lillard responds.

De’Aaron Fox has improved in almost every category this season. He’s settled into his role as primary playmaker and his speed is almost unmatched in the NBA. He will surely look to challenge Lillard and McCollum in order to see how he fares against some of the best at his position.

Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.

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AUTHOR

Christian Jope

897 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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