Game 79 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers

 Rudy Gay rises over LaMarcus Aldridge for a layup finish. (Photo: Tobin Halsey)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR

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




Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (27-51)

PG: Ray McCallum
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Portland Trail Blazers Projected Starters (50-28)

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

What to watch

1. Do the Kings get reinforcements?

The cupboard was bare when the Kings took on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.  Isaiah Thomas missed his eighth straight game with a deep thigh bruise, while both Reggie Evans and Rudy Gay sat with back issues.  The Kings brought up Willie Reed from the Reno Bighorns to help out, but he barely made it to Sacramento before the Thunder game was over.  Thomas has not been officially shut down for the season, but with three games remaining, he’s probably a long shot to play again.  Gay could leave the team at any time to be with his wife in Memphis.  The couple is expecting the birth of their first child at any time.

2. Is Ray McCallum running out of gas?

The rookie point guard has played 43 minutes or more in all eight games that Thomas has missed.  After scoring a career-high 27 points against the Lakers last week, McCallum is averaging just 6.3 points on 22.5 percent shooting over his last three games.  It looks like the rookie is running on fumes.

3. Does Willie Reed see his first career game?

At 23 years old, Reed is still young enough to have a shot at an NBA career, but he needs to turn some heads quickly if he is going to get that chance.  Previously with the Bighorns, who were in the middle of a playoff run, Reed may be sent back to Reno before ever seeing a minute of NBA time.  But it would be nice to see a kid who has clearly improved in the minor leagues get a shot.




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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".