Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kings Preview

Hey everyone, I apologize for the 3 day hiatus, but I couldn’t get to my computer because of the snow. Ok that’s a lie, but that hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps weren’t going to drink themselves!

It was actually quite an eventful weekend in Blazer news even though they did not play. For one, news rolled in that Brandon Roy suffered a torn ligament in his right pinky. The good news is that he is not expected to miss any games, but he will have to wear a splint on his finger for about 6 weeks. I think this is very similar to the injury that Kobe has, and obviously it hasn’t hindered his performance, so lets hope the same goes for Roy.

On the salary cap front (my favorite of all the fronts), Darius Miles signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Memphis Grizzles over the weekend. As I am sure most of you know, if Darius Miles plays in 10 games between now and the end of next season his 9 mil per year goes back on the Blazers payroll, giving us significantly less money to throw at a free agent this offseason. The good news is it is an non-guaranteed contract, and with a 10 game suspension hanging over Darius Miles head, it means he will only be available to play in 2 games prior to January 7th. What’s the big deal about January 7th you ask? Well, after that date all contracts signed must be guaranteed, so we will know by January 7th if we have to worry about Darius Miles and his latest stint. But back to the current team.

This 3 day break must seem heaven sent for the Blazers. I am sure they were very excited to not only get the physical break, but the mental break as well. After a light shoot around on Saturday morning, Nate gave the guys a well deserved Sunday off. Apparently everyone made it into practice yesterday, and it was a good one. Nate ramped up the intensity and the team had a renewed energy amongst them. Let’s hope that translates to a Blazers win on Tuesday and the start of yet another remarkable run. Here’s one (really smart) man’s opinion on what they need to do tonight to pick up a win versus the Sacramento Kings.

Game Preview

Tonight is one of those trap games. What I mean by that is, it will be very easy to look past it to the Phoenix game on Thursday (just like we looked past the Clippers and towards the 3 day break). Also, the Blazers have already defeated the Kings twice this season, which could potentially lull them to sleep. As a relentlessly optimistic Blazer fan, I would like to think that our boys took the days off and recharged themselves physically, and more important mentally. Hopefully they come out energized and ready to protect their home court after two narrow losses in a row.

If you have not heard yet, the Kings canned head coach Reggie Theus over the weekend. I mean, obviously he deserved it, he was only 7-18 (not to mention a win over the Lakers) without his #1 player (Kevin Martin) for all but 5 games, key back up Francisco Garcia, and starting center Brad Miller for the first 5 games. A starting 5 of Beno Udrih, John Salmons, Mikki Moore, Brad Miller, and Quincy Douby, should be expected to win at least 20 games by now right? This anarchy of an organization makes confusing move after confusing move (just signed Beno Udrih to a 5-Year 33.25 mil contract). Tonight will be the Kings second game without head coach Reggie Theus. Last night they beat the Timberwolves at home. Also, it is the Kings 4th game in 5 days, so the Blazers should catch them with tired legs tonight. Kevin Martin is still out, so I like the Blazers chances tonight. Here is what I think are the keys to the game for the Blazers (besides trying to stop Brad Miller's butt cutt):

  1. Wear the Kings down
    1. The Kings are playing their 4th game in 5 days, our second unit needs to push the pace and run them into the ground.
  2. Limit Their Bigs Open Jump shots
    1. Last time we played the Kings, our bigs had trouble getting out and getting a hand up against Hawes and Miller, who can both shoot 3’s. It will undoubtedly be Sacramento’s game plan to have their bigs step out and get Oden and Przy out of the key.
  3. Roy Needs to Score Under 30.
    1. Before you guys call for my head, let me explain. The last three games Roy has scored over 30 and we have lost all three. It’s not that I don’t want Brandon Roy to score 30, but if he scores 30 it probably means everyone else is not contributing that much. And our balance is what helped us win as many games as we have so far, so lets revert back to what worked.
  4. Tighten Up Our Defense
    1. Our last 3 games we have given up a plethora of easy buckets. It is time to start playing that stingy defense we all got accustomed to during the first 22 games of the season.

Bottom line, is we need a win to get back on track.

Gambler’s Corner

The Blazers have come in as a 12.5 point favorite with an Over/Under of 200. Even though it is a large spread, I like the Blazers this game. The reason being is their 3 days off combined with the fact that they have lost back to back games on their home court. I think they will come out with a chip on their collective shoulders tonight and blow out the Kings. I will also take the Over, being as Sacramento has the 2nd worst defensive efficiency in the league.

Goose is taking Portland and Under.

**Bonus Player Props tonight, is LaMarcus Aldridge under 25 Points & Rebounds. I am going to take the under on this, because like I said before the Blazers need to get back to "spreading the wealth". That works on two fronts because it makes Kyle look smart when he says L.A. will be under, plus some of that wealth is given to me. Boom. Also, if it's a blowout like I hope it will be, L.A. won't have to play that much.

So Far…

Kyle vs. Spread 0-1

Goose vs. Spread 0-1

Kyle vs. O/U 1-0

Goose vs. O/U 0-1

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