The Sacramento Kings welcome the Portland Trail Blazers to Sleep Train Arena for the first time this season. The two teams split last year’s series with the Kings coming away in victory in the final pair of games.
Tonight, the Kings begin a stretch where they play seven of their next eight contests at home. Power forward Jason Thompson knows that the team must take advantage of their favorable schedule.
We’re 2-1 at home right now. So it’s definitely on our side of continuing being dominant at home and keep this home cooking. So by the look of the schedule, if we win out at home, we’re back at .500 or maybe over, so that’s the goal.
The Kings will get a look at Damian Lillard for the first time this regular season. There were rumblings back in June that Sacramento was strongly considering the Blazers point guard with the fifth overall pick. In the Blazers’ preseason meeting with the Kings, the rookie was impressive, catching fire in the second half where he scored scored 17 of his 20 points.
Second-year guard Jimmer Fredette is familiar with Lillard’s game. Both men played college ball in Utah and actually met each other on the court three years ago. Fredette thinks highly of Lillard’s ability.
He’s a very good player. He played in college in Utah, so I got to see him a lot, got to talk to him a little bit. Played against him a couple times. He’s obviously a smooth point guard, really can shoot it. He’s a pretty big kid. He’s aggressive offensively and he’s very poised. So he’s a very, very good player. And I think he’s going to be a very good player in this league a long time.
The Kings and Blazers tip-off tonight at 7 pm. Follow Cowbell Kingdom for continued pre and postgame coverage.