Portland Trail Blazers (6-4) vs. Sacramento Kings (5-6)
The Portland Trail Blazer are back in Sacramento once again to take on the Sacramento Kings. Just a few days ago when they were in Sacramento, the Blazers beat the Kings 125-99. Portland is ten games into the season and with three straight wins under their belts, they seem to be finding their groove. There’s still so much room for improvement but a win is a win, and they’re looking for another one tonight!
Wednesday, January 13 - 7:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, or see games all season on fuboTV, follow on ESPN+, or the ESPN/Disney Bundle*
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out)
Kings injuries: DaQuan Jeffries (out), Jabari Parker (out)
SBN Affiliate: Sac Town Royalty
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What To Watch For
- CJ McCollum. The man has been an absolute machine. He’s shooting 44.5% from the 3point line, a career high for him. All around he is playing better than he has in the entirety of his career, and he’s making it look easy. Between McCollum and Damian Lillard, Portland’s backcourt is a thing of beauty and definitely something to watch.
- Jusuf Nurkic. The Bosnian Beast admittedly is struggling off the court with family back home in Bosnia. After staying in the bubble to be with the team when his grandmother passed away last year, Nurkic has been candid about the fact that it’s been a struggle. He recently opened up to the media about the fact that there are still things going on back in his home country where his family is. While he didn’t give details, he has clearly struggled on the court as the season has picked up, but we seem to be seeing flashes of the Nurk we all know and love. If Nurkic is able to play, despite his injury in the game against the Toronto Raptors, and he can play the way he played last season it will catapult the Blazers to even more success than they’re currently having.
- Kings Defense. The Trail Blazers aren't the only team that has struggled with defense. The Kings defense has struggled just as much if not more. It was one of the factors that led to the solid win for Portland in Sacramento just a few days ago. But the Kings are stepping up their defense and that showed in their win against the Pacers on Monday.
What Others Are Saying
CJ McCollum seems to be on everyone’s minds for All Star recognition this season. James Ham of NBC Sports broke down Portland’s win against Toronto and McCollum’s part in that.
McCollum is no stranger to hitting big shots and he is off to the best start of his career. His 28.1 scoring average is third in the NBA. Could this be McCollum’s first All-Star season? It will be if he keeps playing like he did Monday, when he scored 30 points on 10 of 19 shooting.
The Blazers defense, which has struggled previously, was key in their win against Toronto, according to Trail Blazers head coach, Terry Stotts.
“I would be remiss right now if I didn’t say what an excellent job Robert did on Siakam in the second half. I thought the defensive job he did on him, particularly in the in the fourth quarter, but in general for the second half was a key to the win.”
Richaun Holmes has been stepping up his defense and coming through for the Kings this season, according to Sabreena Merchant of Sac Town Royalty.
Holmes has been the saving grace of the Kings defense thus far this season, leading the rotation players in defensive rating. He’s forcing opposing players to shoot 6.2 percent worse than expected based on shot location, and against Indiana, Holmes did that by mercilessly blocking whatever the Pacers attempted at the rim.