When and where: November 12, 2019, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA, 10:00 PM ET
After putting an end to a four-game losing streak, the Portland Trail Blazers hope to continue that success on the road in Tuesday’s Western Conference meeting with the Sacramento Kings. It would seem as if the Trail Blazers are building up their confidence by using struggling, young teams as stepping stones. They trounced the Atlanta Hawks at home in a 124-113 victory, and they’ll look to do the same against a Kings team that only has three wins in its first 10 games of the season, including a recent win over the Hawks.
Trail Blazers end four-game losing streakThe Trail Blazers are only 10 games into the season, and there are already questions regarding the need to hit the reboot button. Those questions seemed to simmer down a bit after they played their way to the Western Conference Finals last season.
How could they not return after Damian Lillard dropped 60 points in a fourth consecutive loss to the Brooklyn Nets last Friday?
They did manage to end the losing streak by beating up on the Hawks (3-6) at home on Sunday, but no one is measuring their talent as a team with that win. The defensive struggles have crippled their ability to close out games. Most notably, they gave up 127 points a week ago to a Golden State Warriors team with virtually no star on the floor. So there is a strong likelihood they’ll struggle on Tuesday, even in a game against another young team in the Kings.
The Kings have scored 120-plus points in back-to-back games against the Hawks and Toronto Raptors. Unless Lillard puts on another otherworldly performance, it’s safe to assume the Trail Blazers wouldn’t be able to match that sort of scoring. They need help all-around, but they could really use some more offense at small forward. Mario Hezonja isn’t getting the job done with 11 total points in three games combined.
Rodney Hood could give the team a decent offensive burst if he returns to game action on Tuesday. He sat out the game against the Hawks and is officially day-to-day with a back injury.
Kings potentially suffer a blow with Fox injuryI can’t imagine a worse start to the Kings’ week than seeing star guard De’Aaron Fox go down with an ankle injury. Yet, that’s their new reality after a scare at practice on Monday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported Fox suffered what looked like an ankle sprain. After undergoing a medical evaluation, the report was confirmed as an ankle sprain with Fox expecting to be sidelined for at least three weeks.
He was averaging a team-high 18.2 points per game and 7.0 assists. That sort of production isn’t easily replaced, particularly in a match-up with one of the best guards in the game in Lillard. The Kings being without their floor general should mean extra minutes for veteran guard Cory Joseph.
Losing a player like Fox for any amount of time sends a ripple effect throughout the roster. The Kings already ranked in the bottom-half of the league in shooting percentage (44.4), and that number would dip even further without Fox on the floor setting up plays and feeding the ball to the open shooter.
They have also been a liability on defense this season. The team hopes to find some success against a Trail Blazers unit that leans so heavily on the scoring of Lillard and CJ McCollum. Perhaps the only silver lining is Joseph’s strong defensive abilities, but nothing is worth losing the two-way presence of an evolving young player like Fox.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Trail Blazers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a losing straight up record.
- Trail Blazers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Trail Blazers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Trail Blazers are 33-15-3 ATS in their last 51 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
- Kings are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win.
- Kings are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Tuesday games.
- Kings are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games against teams in the NBA Northwest.
- Kings are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games against teams in the Western Conference.