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Kings vs. Cavaliers Preview: Which Kings team will show up today?

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings can't seem to have any consistency recently, following up a big win against the Thunder with an even bigger loss to Denver a couple nights later.  Now the Cavaliers are in town, and even without their best player, they've got more than enough talent to beat the Kings if Sacramento isn't ready.  Which Kings will show up? Today's action tips off at 6:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. The Cavaliers have a lot of offensive weapons.  Kyrie Irving's one of the best scoring guards in the league, Kevin Love can score from anywhere, and J.R. Smith is liable to go for 40 points or 40 field goal attempts (or both) any night if he gets hot.  The Kings defense has been incredibly inconsistent, and if they continue to try to beat teams by trying to outscore them, they're going to continue to find themselves on the wrong side of the ledger at the end of the night.

2. Cleveland's defense has not been good this season, even with LeBron.  They did add Timofey Mozgov to provide some interior defense, but we've seen in the past that DeMarcus Cousins has been able to deal with him effectively in the past.  Behind Mozgov, the Cavs are almost thinner than the Nuggets were, especially with Anderson Varejao out.  The game plan against Cleveland should be the same as against Denver, except this time the Kings need to execute it correctly.  That means no settling for jumpers when you can get to the basket and either score or draw a foul.

3. Ben McLemore hasn't been getting a whole ton of looks in the offense lately.  I don't know why that is.  Against Denver he actually did take several wide open shots that just didn't fall in, but I'd still like the Kings to run some more plays for him aside from spot shots.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Kevin Love vs. Jason Thompson

With LeBron James out, Kevin Love becomes a much bigger part of the Cavaliers offense. He's only averaging 17.7 points a game this year, but without LeBron his usage is sure to go up, even though guys like Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith will take a lot of shots as well.  Love has given the Kings fits before, and Jason Thompson is more suited to defending in the post than the perimeter.  The Kings will have to limit the open opportunities that Love gets, especially from beyond the arc.

PREGAME LIMERICK

Welcome to the West Coast LeBron!
I can't wait to see ... wait hold on.
He's not playing?
In Cleveland he's staying?
Perhaps this game's conclusion isn't foregone.

PREDICTION

Kings 108, Cavaliers 107 after J.R. Smith gets the opportunity to win the game for Cleveland but shockingly decides to pass it to a wide open Kevin Love at the rim.  Love is so shocked that Smith decided to pass he forgets to shoot himself.