NBA basketball is back even if it is different!
The Good: The Trail Blazers still have no problem getting buckets.
Even if it's just exhibition defense they faced, it should still be noted that Portland shot over 50 percent from the floor for a majority of the game.
It was the first preseason game for both the Trail Blazers and Kings and as the two teams shook off the rust and the Moda Center in-arena crew experimented with simulated crowd noise.
Portland put 127 points on the board to Sacramento's 102 for the Blazers first win of the preseason.
The Blazers' second unit showed out as Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts went with several different lineups.
Harry Giles, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Jones Jr. all stood out with their play. Giles, who is finally healthy looked like a big man who could see major minutes once the season really starts.
While there were no fans in attendance that meant the limited media could hear the player’s talk on defense and whenever a big dunk or block occurred the trash talking was loud and clear.
The Blazers took a 41-36 lead after the first quarter with Carmelo Anthony leading the way with 12 off the bench.
At the break, Portland led 72-62 behind Damian Lillard’s 15. It was 96-81 Blazers heading into the final quarter.
The Bad: Exhibition season means we don't get a real feel for either team with the starters playing limited minutes. Derrick Jones Jr. played 24 minutes -- the most of any starter. Plus, the second half really looked like preseason basketball with both teams not taking care of the ball well and throwing up some questionable shots.
The Blazers were without:
- Rodney Hood
- Jusuf Nurkic
- Zach Collins
- Nassir Little
The emphasis on defense for Portland:
Some of the loudest applause from the Trail Blazers bench came when the Blazers forced the Kings to turn it over or into a 24-second shot clock violation.
With an empty arena, it was also easier to hear the defensive chatter coming from the Blazers, which we should expect a lot more of this season with the additions of Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr.
Jones Jr.'s length and versatility on that end of the floor is a welcomed sight.
The Top Scorers:
Carmelo Anthony -- 21
CJ McCollum -- 18
Damian Lillard -- 15
Buddy Hield -- 23
The Highlights of the Night:
The Preview dunks:
Trail Blazers fans better get ready for many, many, many more Derrick Jones Jr. jams!
The Pic of the night:
The not so bold prediction: Melo will still get his:
In his first seven minutes of action transition into his new role as a second unit star, Carmelo Anthony scored 12 on 4-of-5 and a perfect 2-of-2 from three.
By the end of the third quarter, Melo showed off his baseline jumper, three-point shot and everything in between.
For more on Friday’s exhibition game be sure to check back at our site later tonight and tomorrow morning!