Kings’ Speech: Preseason game 2 vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Chuck Hayes and Tyreke Evans defend LaMarcus Aldridge in the post (Photo: Steven Chea)

The Sacramento Kings host the Portland Trail Blazers in exhibition No. 2 tonight at Power Balance Pavilion.  Leading up to the regular season, creating consistency on defense and offense remains a primary focus for the Kings.

Right now, we’re not in a habit yet because I still have to tell guys, “Get up and help.  Get up, get up, get up.”  But as the team keeps moving and we keep working every day – I shared with them today, it is so hard to win and you’ve got to do things at a different rate when you’re trying to win as opposed to just trying to go out and play.  And that’s what we want to keep seeing every game.

How the Kings executed on both ends of the floor in their 102-96 win over the Phoenix Suns is the standard head coach Keith Smart wants to set.  From that contest, he was especially pleased with how they defended the weak side, pressured the opposition and played together on defense.

Rookie Thomas Robinson is also looking at tonight from a team-first perspective.  He wants to see the Kings continue to mesh and improve together as a cohesive unit.

Like I said, I’m not going on any individual accomplishments.  I just want to go in and try to keep the same goal as a team, try to do my job on defense and rebound.

Kings forward Travis Outlaw did not play last game, but Smart seemed to hint that the veteran swingman would soon be getting an opportunity to hit the floor.  If Outlaw does get on the court, he doesn’t plan to pressure himself knowing playing time is coming at a premium.

Not gonna try to force the issue or (anything).  It’s preseason, so you just want to make sure (you play with) strong moves, make sure you can pick up on the defensive assignments.  It’s really just fine-tuning.  I’m gonna be aggressive, but at the same time, I’m gonna try to keep it in the system.

Game tips off at 7 pm.  Follow Cowbell Kingdom for continued pre and post game coverage.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.