Game 2 Preview: Kings at Blazers

Portland comes into this season once again stricken by the injury bug.  Franchise-player Brandon Roy retired at the ripe age of 27 due to a knee condition, while former-first overall pick Greg Oden, once again had his season end before it even began.  LaMarcus Aldridge anchors an athletic and talented Blazers team coming off a 107-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in last night’s home opener.

Gametime: 7 pm PST
Television Coverage: Comcast Sportnet California
Radio Coverage: 1140 AM The Fan
For perspective on the Blazers, visit fellow THN blog Portland Roundball Society.

Kings Starters (1-0)

  • Tyreke Evans
  • Marcus Thornton
  • John Salmons
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Chuck Hayes

The Kings are riding high after a big win last night in Sacramento.  Coach Paul Westphal used a tight, ten-man rotation, with Jimmer Fredette, Isaiah Thomas, Travis Outlaw, J.J. Hickson and Jason Thompson, playing the bulk of the game.  Donté Greene played all of thirty seconds of action before the end of the first half.  Veteran Francisco Garcia and rookie Tyler Honeycutt received DNP-CDs, while Hassan Whiteside watched in street clothes as the 13th man.

Blazers Starters (1-0)

  • Raymond Felton
  • Wesley Matthews
  • Gerald Wallace
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Marcus Camby

The Blazers have a rare back-to-back set of home games to start the season.  After beating the 76ers last night, they come back again tonight to face the upstart Kings.  Coach Nate McMillan relied heavily on his starters in the first game of the season, using veterans Nicolas Batum, Jamal Crawford and Kurt Thomas as his primary bench players.

Matchup of the Game

Marcus Thornton versus Wesley Matthews:  Thornton came out hot in game one against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.  He scored 27-points on nine of 13 shooting.  Thornton continued his last season trend of hitting big shots in big moments against the Lakers last night in Sacramento.  Wesley Matthews has the duel task of replacing retired former all-star guard Brandon Roy, while holding off Jamal Crawford for his starting spot.  Matthews scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds last night against Philly, but shot only four of 14 from the field.

Rookie Watch

Jimmer Fredette versus Nolan Smith:  Jimmer looked tentative in his first NBA game last night, scoring six points and handing out three assists in 26 minutes of action.  Following the game, Jimmer admitted that the coaching staff wanted him to shoot more and think less as he gets acclimated to the pro game.  Nolan Smith put together a very nice career at Duke.  Although he only played three minutes in the opener, Smith has a nice all around game and should be a productive pro.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".