Portland Trail Blazers (0-1) at Sacramento Kings (0-1)
October 25, 2019 - 7:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Jusuf Nurkic (out), Pau Gasol (out)
Kings injuries: Harry Giles (game-time decision), Marvin Bagley III (out) Buddy Hield (questionable)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW
How to stream: Blazer’s Edge Streaming Guide
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Sac Town Royalty
The Portland Trail Blazers take to the road for their first away contest of the 2019-2020 season. They look to snare their first win of the new campaign after falling to the Denver Nuggets 108-100 on Wednesday. Damian Lillard put on a show with 32 points, and new acquisition Hassan Whiteside had 16 points and 19 rebounds, but the Blazers could not prevent a hot-shooting Nuggets squad from burning them from three.
The Sacramento Kings would also like to get their first victory after falling to the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix on Wednesday 124-95. Buddy Hield paced the Kings with 28 points, but the Suns buried the road team in the fourth quarter, outscoring Sacramento 38-19 behind hot shooting from Devin Booker. However, forward Marvin Bagley broke his right thumb, and will miss 4-to-6 weeks.
What to watch for
- Bench scoring must step up. The duo of Kent Bazemore and Anfernee Simons were supposed to be the primary scoring options for the Blazers off the bench. Against Denver, they combined to be 3-of-14 from the field, 0-for-5 from three, and score nine total points. Bazemore was an absolute menace on defense, so that part is working, but Portland needs some power from the second unit. 19 points from the bench every night is not going to cut it.
- Who contains Hield? Injuries may keep him out, but Buddy Hield has emerged as the most prolific scorer for the Kings, and he has feasted on Portland in the past. Last year he shot above 50 percent from three in all three meetings, including 5-of-6 and 19 points in a Blazers defeat on Jan. 14. Stopping Hield from getting open looks must be a focus.
- Which Whiteside shows up? Game one went well for Whiteside, who recorded 19 rebounds and 2 blocks despite recovering from an ankle injury. Sacramento is not a long-range team outside of Hield and Nemanja Bjelica, so this is Whiteside’s chance to punish drives by De’Aaron Fox. Whether he can do that in Portland’s defensive system has yet to be made clear.
What they’re saying
Greg of Sac Town Royalty had praise for Buddy Hield’s new contract with the Kings.
This contract gives Buddy the validation he wanted. He’s being paid, and gets to bet on himself to hit milestones and earn even more. But the contract is also great for the team.
On the other hand, Rafe Wong of A Royal Pain questioned giving the contract extension to Hield and not Bogdan Bogdanovic.
There is no doubt that Bogi has been a significant cog in the Kings’ system, which is why they offered him a four-year extension worth a total of around $52 million. But even though an offer was made, the Kings invested most of their time on making sure they had Buddy secured for the future? Did the Kings make a mistake?