What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Kings

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Nicolas Batum vs. Rudy Gay

Tonight’s matchup features two small forwards who are in or entering the primes of their careers. How can you tell? Both Nicolas Batum and Rudy Gay are doing things this season they haven’t done before. And these guys are no rookies. Now in his sixth NBA season, Batum is posting career bests in rebounds (7.5) and assists (5.1). His 15 double-doubles in 2013-14 aren’t just a career high, but more than twice as many as he has recorded in any other year of his career. And anyone who has been following the Trail Blazers knows Batum has been a monster on the glass this year, especially in recent weeks. In a game where basically every team has at least one 7-foot man, Portland’s 6-foot, 8-inch “small” forward brought down the third-most rebounds in the entire league during the month of March (187). His counterpart tonight, Rudy Gay, calls the 2013-14 campaign his eighth year in the NBA. And as impressive and consistent as he has been in that time, Gay is posting career numbers in scoring (20.2) and assists (2.9) this season. No matter what jersey Gay has worn this season – he was traded midseason from Toronto – he has saved his best for the Trail Blazers. In both meetings with Portland this year, one in each uniform, Gay has tallied 30 points or more.

Nicolas Batum

• Averaging career highs in rebounds (7.5) and assists (5.1) this season, his sixth year in the NBA
• Recorded 15 double-doubles this year, more than twice his previous career high in a season (7 in 2012-13)
• Grabbed 187 rebounds during the month of March, third-most in the NBA

Rudy Gay

• Averaging career highs in points (20.2, 19th in NBA) and assists (2.9) this season, his eighth year in the NBA
• Scored at least 30 points in three of his last five games, dating back to March 29
• Poured in 30+ points in both appearances against Portland this season, one with Sacramento and another with Toronto