NBA Picks: Kings vs. Trail Blazers

Joe Catalano

Friday, November 8, 2013 3:14 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 3:14 PM GMT

The Sacramento Kings (1-3) and struggling star DeMarcus Cousins travel up north to Portland to face the Trail Blazers (2-2) Friday night. This is a tale of two teams that have defensive issues. Will we see a high scoring track meet tonight?

According to Bet 365 Sportsbook, the NBA odds for the Blazers are at a heavy 7 point betting favorite and the total for the game is 203. Sacramento hasn’t done much to warrant confidence in the eyes of the book makers as the Kings have lost 3 straight games after an opening night victory over Denver. In their last 3 games, Sacramento has surrendered 104.3 points per contest, but the Trail Blazers haven’t been much better, allowing 105.8 points per game.

This game could come down to “who has the hot hand?” The defenses don’t seem like they’ll be a factor in this matchup of two troubled teams.

Check out SBRs Friday NBA Picks of the Day

2nd Best Lopez

The transition to Portland has been a rocky one for center Robin Lopez. Lopez has showed glimpses last season of becoming a legitimate center like his twin brother Brook of the Brooklyn Nets, but this has quickly gone away as Lopez has been a disaster for the Blazers.

On the season, Lopez is averaging 4.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. This type of production from a center simply won’t cut it for Portland if they expect to win. Lopez has the propensity for getting into foul trouble as he did in his last game, a 116-101 loss to Portland. In this game, Lopez played just 18 minutes and had 0 points. With backup center Joel Freeland injured, the center position is a problem area for Portland. It looks like J.J. Hickson and the Trail Blazers organization wish that they can go back a season.

Go To Guys

Portland is led by the combination of LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard. Lillard shocked most of the world by outshining Anthony Davis in his rookie season and it’s evident that Lillard isn’t a flash in the pan. While Aldridge dominates the paint, Lillard has been dominating from the outside. On the season, Lillard is averaging 2.8 3-pointers per game and is hitting 50% of those attempts.

The combination of Lillard and Aldridge are producing 48.8 points per game and both players are multi-talented and efficient. This is one of the best 1-2 punches in the NBA. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are more than competent offensively, but the defensive play has let this team down.

Will He Ever Live Up To the Hype?

So many past and present superstars in the NBA have stated that DeMarcus Cousins has the talent to be the best player in the league. We all know about his immaturity and temper  on the court, but I’m still waiting for Cousins to be a winner; I haven’t seen it yet. The numbers look fairly decent at 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2 steals per game, but this hasn’t equated to wins. Cousins reminds me of Derrick Coleman from the past; the guy could put up numbers, but his attitude got in the way and he was never a winner. Nevertheless, Cousins and Aldridge should be a great matchup tonight to keep an eye on. Aldridge is at home and seems to be more of a complete player, but you can never take the word “potential”away from DeMarcus Cousins as his Kings look to break their 3 game losing streak.

Rough Transition

One player that I was raving about last season and looked to be on the verge of being a superstar is 6 foot 6 point guard ,Grievis Vasquez.

It’s only been 4 games, but Vasquez has been a huge disappointment for the Kings. They expected a budding superstar, but instead, they’ve gotten 9 points and 3.8 assists per game. In order for this team to be decent, Vasquez needs to re-claim his game. Time will tell if he’s able to do so and tonight’s matchup is a tough one.

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Outcome

You have to side with the Blazers at home and the play of Lillard and Aldridge alone. The Kings haven’t found a way to be a winning team and until they do so, they’re on my radar for fading.

NBA Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -7 at Bet 365

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