Live from the locker room: Kings vs Blazers

Sacramento_Kings_Damian_Lillard

Here is the latest news live from Sleep Train Arena:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge is coming off his third straight All-Star selection and averaged a career-best 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game last season.  The 29-year-old power forward dropped 27 points on the Thunder in the Blazers’ season-opening victory on Wednesday and has a history of playing well against the Kings.  “They’re a team that is very well put together,” Malone said.  “You have a terrific young point guard.  You have a great low post presence and you have a lot of shooting around them, which makes it very hard to guard.  I thought Jason (Thompson) at times did a really good job trying to battle LaMarcus Aldridge.  We tried to front him at times in the post to limit his post catches.  You have to show on his pick-and-rolls because he’s too good a shooter.”
  • Sacramento turned the ball over 27 times as a team during Wednesday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors.  The turnover issues began during preseason, leading Malone to resort to the old school punishment of running lines during practice.  After watching film of the Warriors game, Malone had a few positives to take away, but the game was lost in the third quarter due to sloppy play.  “In that third quarter, the turnovers were a result of spacing, dribbling and just not trusting the offense, not trusting each other.” Malone said.  “Everybody’s trying to make ‘the play,’ instead of, if you don’t have anything, just move the ball without any hesitation.”
  • DeMarcus Cousins tore up the Blazers last season, averaging 33.3 points and 11.5 rebounds in the four meetings between the teams.  While Malone thought that he might see a few double-teams tonight, coach Terry Stotts has other plans.  “We really don’t like double-teaming,” Stotts said.  “We want everybody to be in help position and make him play in a crowd.  He made some jump-shots against us, which expands his game.  He gets to the free throw line.  It’s going to take a concerted effort by everybody.”
  • Derrick Williams (right knee contusion) is probable for Sacramento and listed on the active roster.  Rookie Eric Moreland is inactive for a second straight game.  Meyers Leonard (upper respiratory illness) is out for Portland, but according to coach Stotts, he is feeling much better.  He, along with Victor Claver are inactive for Portland tonight.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is the 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 since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to ESPN.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".