2021-10-21
Sacramento Kings
Portland Trail Blazers
League : NBA

Portland Trail Blazers vs Sacramento Kings Prediction & Preview



 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Two teams with high hopes and expectations for this season will get their campaign started in a very exciting matchup. Luke Walton’s Sacramento Kings will visit Moda Center to try and beat the new-look Portland Trail Blazers in Chauncey Billups’ official debut as the new coach of the team. Needless to say, the home side is obliged to compete and improve from their recent form, which is why there’s a lot of pressure on their shoulders.

The Kings are looking to put an end to a league-worst 15-year playoff drought, and they’ve shown flashes of vast improvement during the preseason, finishing with a perfect 4-0 record. Then again, whether they’ll be able to ride that momentum when it truly counts is yet to be seen. The Blazers are on the other side of the equation, dropping their 4 preseason contests including a 107-93 setback vs. the Kings.

 

The Kings want to end their drought

The Sacramento Kings finished 12th in the Western Conference last season, missing a chance to make the play-in tournament. Part of their problem was their defense, as they allowed 117.4 points while scoring just 113.7. Now, they’ve got a massive boost in that regard with the addition of Davion Mitchell, who’s already making a huge impact in the defensive end and will be a dark horse candidate for the Rookie of the Year award.

 

Then again, sharing the division with the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors will once again mean trouble for this ever-struggling franchise. De’Aaron Fox is expected to break out as an All-Star after averaging career-highs in points (25.2) and assists (7.4) per game last season but that may not be enough to propel them into a playoff spot.

 

It’s now or never for the Blazers

There was a lot of buzz around Damian Lillard during the offseason. A lot of people believe that he could force his way out of the Portland Trail Blazers if they get off to a slow start or don’t improve their roster before the trade deadline. Lillard is the heart and soul of this team and is coming off an outstanding campaign with averages of 28.8 points and 7.5 assists per game on 45/39/92 shooting splits.

 

Lillard managed to lead the Blazers to the sixth seed in the crowded Western Conference despite multiple injuries and a subpar supporting cast. They were tied for the sixth-best record (42-30) in the league but once again fell short of their goal in the first round, losing in six games to the Denver Nuggets.







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