Game 33 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Jimmer Fredette defends Damian Lillard (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PST

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Television)

Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (10-22)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Portland Trail Blazers Projected Starters (26-8)

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Robin Lopez

What to watch

1. Do the Kings pull together or fall apart?

After a few spirited debates between Kings players during Saturday’s loss to the Bobcats, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins called a players’ only meeting on Saturday to air out some differences.  The general feeling around the team is that the meeting was productive, but there’s no telling how this team responds against a tough Portland team.

2. Will the Kings defend the perimeter?

The Trail Blazers can flat out fill it up from behind the arc.  They are leading the NBA in 3-point percentage (40 percent) and 3-point makes (352) and rank second in attempts with 883.  If the Kings sag, Lillard, Matthews, Batum and Mo Williams will burn them to the ground.

3. Cousins vs. Aldridge

This game matches two of the league’s most talented young big men against each other.  While Thompson will start out on Aldridge and Lopez on Cousins, this game may come down to which All-Star hopeful big man has the most productive game.

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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 is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".