Portland 104 Sacramento 91
Admittedly many around the league knew that the game between the Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers wasn’t going to be that close. While the Kings undoubtedly have a great player in DeMarcus Cousins on their roster, by no means do they have the depth of talent required to really ‘hang’ with teams like Portland.
And so, hosting the Kings in the first of a “two-game series”, the Blazers dominated the boards and received steady contributions en route to an easy win.
In fact, Portland had all five of their starters record double-figures last night while Thomas Robinson came off the bench for 10 points in 12 minutes as well.
Here are the three starters who stood out the most.
This one is essentially a given for every game. While he did put up just 22 points last night (note the intended sarcasm) on 5-of-13 shooting, Lillard nailed four threes, recorded eight rebounds, seven assists, and one steal while committing no fouls. To do all that in 37 minutes is very impressive.
If he keeps up his steady level of play and distributes the ball to the other emerging greats on the roster, expect the Blazers to make some big waves in 2013-2014 in the Western Conference.
Oh, he was also 8-of-8 from the free throw line too.
Already mentioned above, the play of Robinson last night must be highlighted again. While he did just play 12 total minutes last night, Robinson looked light’s out during his time on the floor. Shooting 4-of-5 from the floor, Robinson scored 10 points and managed to collect four rebounds while also shooting 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
If the rest of the bench can step up and play like Robinson did, Portland could become even scarier than they already look.
I’m putting Nicolas Batum up here fore the sole reason that it has become too easy to disregard his play and bash him while ignoring some quality minutes he puts on the court every now and then, of which he exactly did last night.
Shooting 5-of-10 from the floor, Batum racked up 14 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists in 34 minutes of impressive action. Playing a bit more level than he has in recent memory, Batum looked like a solid starter and a player who could develop to do big things for Portland in the near future.
Looking ahead the Blazers have the quick turnaround as they play Sacramento once again, this time on the road.
If they play anything like they did last night, they’ll have an easy time with a Kings team that only has the threat of DeMarcus Cousins.