Even though the Blazers won by a difference of 25 points, the game was exciting to watch. Both teams showed off their three-point shooting prowess as they combined for 33 makes from beyond the arc.
Fixture: Sacramento Kings vs Portland Trail Blazers - NBA Preseason Game
Date & Time: Sunday, December 13th, 2020 - 9 PM ET (Monday, December 14th, 7:30 AM IST)
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
The Sacramento Kings had all the momentum entering their first preseason game. Oddsmakers gave the Kings a 56.6% winning chance 3 minutes into the game, but the momentum eventually shifted in the favor of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Blazers started raining threes on the Kings and quickly mounted an 18-point lead in the 2nd quarter. They held the advantage for the rest of the game, and got their preseason campaign off to an excellent start.
The Portland Trail Blazers and the Sacramento Kings will face off once again, and the former is likely to give limited minutes to stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The Kings, on the other hand, will want to register their first win of the 2020-21 NBA Preseason.
Sacramento Kings Preview
The Sacramento Kings felt the absence of their newly acquired big man Hassan Whiteside, as they were out-rebounded by 11 and registered 4 fewer blocks than the Portland Trail Blazers.
However, the highlight of their game was the backcourt duo of De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. Many expect Fox to make the jump into an All-Star this season, and on Saturday, he proved that he complements his shooting guard Buddy Hield brilliantly. Hield had the highest score amongst all players, with 23 points.
The Sacramento Kings' newly drafted rookie, Tyrese Haliburton from Iowa State, got 20 minutes of playing time in which he posted 5 points, 2 steals, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds. He shot 1-2 three-pointers, and his overall development will be boosted if he is given more game time.
Although the Sacramento Kings lost the game, they achieved what they set out to. They gave their rookies playing time, while their starters attempted 50 threes in regulation and made 16 of them.
The Kings need to give Hassan Whiteside playing time in the second game so that he adjusts to his new team, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of his teammates.
Key Player - De'Aaron Fox
Although his teammate Buddy Hield posted 13 more points than him in the preseason game, all eyes were on De'Aaron Fox. The 22-year-old recently signed a max contract extension with the Sacramento Kings and is possibly on a path to his first All-Star selection.
Although he is an incredibly talented young player, Fox has never had an All-Star or an All-NBA selection. It isn't far-fetched to say that the Kings are relying on Fox to develop into the team's best player and leader.
Fox needs to prove to the NBA that he is deserving of the kind of money he is being paid, and as mentioned earlier, many expect him to make a giant leap this season.
Fox had an off night in scoring against the Blazers, as he shot just 3-12 including 1-7 from three in 26 minutes of playing time. He will have to up his game and drop a bigger number during December 13th's matchup.
Sacramento Kings Predicted Lineup
G De'Aaron Fox, G Buddy Hield, F Harrison Barnes, F Nemanja Bjelica, C Hassan Whiteside
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers have been a Western Conference threat for quite some time now.
Even though the Blazers were fighting for the 8th seed last season, the backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum took the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2018-19. They are undoubtedly one of the best backcourt duos in the NBA, and many analysts have predicted that they could make the top 3 seeds in the Western Conference.
The Portland Trail Blazers had a great preseason opener as they defeated the Kings 127-102, and six of their players were in double-digit points. They dominated on rebounds and blocks, and had an amazing rhythm from beyond the arc as well. They made half of all their attempts from three, as multiple players were shooting lights out.
Key Player - Carmelo Anthony
The commentators stated that Carmelo Anthony showed hints of his Denver self in the previous preseason game against the Kings. He started the game 4-4 and racked up a total of 21 points from the floor - the highest among his team.
Anthony's scoring ability could be the key for this team to reach the top seeds yet again and prove to the league how lethal their offense can be. The 13th December matchup will give the Portland Trail Blazers another chance at winning on their home floor and gathering some momentum ahead of the NBA season.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard, G CJ McCollum, F Robert Covington, F Carmelo Anthony, C Enes Kanter
Sacramento Kings vs Portland Trail Blazers - Match Prediction
The game is expected to go just like the last matchup did. The Trail Blazers are the overwhelming favorites, but since it's a preseason fixture, the Kings can surprise us too.
The Sacramento Kings are expected to give Tyrese Haliburton more playing time so that he can find some rhythm, while the Portland Trail Blazers might follow in the footsteps of the LA Lakers and rest their stars for the game.
Sacramento Kings vs Portland Trail Blazers - Where to Watch
National coverage and local television coverage of the Sacramento Kings vs Portland Trail Blazers game will be available on NBC Sports Northwest and Kings.com. International fans can catch the game on the NBA League Pass.