Sacramento Kings vs. Trail Blazers Blog: Love’ Em & Hate’ Em

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The Portland TrailBlazers defeated the Sacramento Kings, 101-89, at the Rose Garden on Monday night to improve to 10-7 on the season.

Portland 101, Sacramento 89
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, January 23, 2012
Where: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Officials: #30 Tony Brown, # Marat Kogut, #32 Eddie F. Rush
Attendance: 20363

It was the second time the Blazers have disposed of the Kings this season after quite the post-Christmas thrashing back in December.

A little physical play and huge nights from Jamal Crawford and Gerald Wallace, were the big factors in this one.

Love’ Em

1. Bench carrying some of the load

So after several times of saying Nolan Smith needs to see more playing time, maybe Nate McMillan heard. Smith a guy who the Blazers been going to lately and for the most he’s been making good plays.

He’s also allowed some rest for LaMarcus Aldridge as somewhat of a go-to guy giving the team balance with that second unit.

But it’s not just Nolan that’s coming in and playing some spot minutes. Kurt has been solid.

Batum has been pretty solid and if that continues, the Blazers should be hard to beat.

2. Quality Shooting

The Blazers shoot 47 percent from the floor and 37 percent from the arc. Not bad for a night’s work. But what’s happening to their league-leading free throw percentage lately?

They went 12-21 in this one,  barely over 57%.

Craig Smith

Sacramento Kings vs. Trail Blazers Blog: Love’ Em & Hate’ Em - (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Hate’ Em

1. Marcus Camby

Who was a non-factor for the second game in a row, picking up 3 personal fouls in 13 minutes, contributing 6 rebounds during his brief stay on the floor.

 2. Second rotation defensive meltdown

Nothing new here. Just as the bench hit the floor, in 2 minutes, 20 seconds Portland’s lead went from 20 to 13. Had they held on longer the starters wouldn’t have had to return so early.

Giving the bottom of the bench some much-needed play time.

However, keep in mind this game was an improvement, as no starter played over 35 minutes and Aldridge played only 28. Fewer minutes overall for the starting lineup would have been better, but it’s good enough.

Tonight the Blazers get the Grizzlies who seek an eighth consecutive victory.

Problem for them. They will have to do it at the Rose Garden.


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