As the Sacramento Kings prepare to kick off the regular season on October 30th, one player in particular has to be chomping at the bit. Fourth year forward Patrick Patterson has an opportunity before him, and he’d be foolish not to take full advantage of it.
With Carl Landry out 4-6 months now, Patterson knows he is the needed to step up in the paint. Sunday night, Patterson showed just what he can do when given the opportunity. Against the Portland Trail Blazers in a preseason matchup, Patterson scored 27 points and grabbed eight boards as he played 40 minutes.
What was most impressive throughout the night was Patterson’s ability to play both power forward and center. DeMarcus Cousins rested, thus giving some minutes up for the center position as well. Patterson stepped right in and proved he could play either position down low and play it effectively.
The former Kentucky product had his best season as a pro last year with the Kings, when he averaged 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 25 minutes. He also shot the ball above 51 percent from the floor.
With Jason Thompson as the starter for now, Patterson very well could challenge him in the future for some minutes. If he keeps playing the way he did Sunday night, he’ll have no problem grabbing himself some minutes regardless of whether or not Landry is back.
This season, the Kings are in a position where they need some players to emerge if they want to have any chance whatsoever at an eighth seed in the Western Conference. Patterson could be one of those guys if he’s given the minutes to do so. He doesn’t look like a player to withhold from an opportunity like the one at hand thus far, and if Sacramento has its way, he won’t stop now.