Well, the Sacramento Kings lost again. On a Super Bowl Sunday morning affair, the Boston Celtics hung 46 points on the Kings defense in the first quarter and forced Sacramento to play three quarters of catch up. Spoiler alert: the Sacramento Kings couldn't do it. Sacramento's next chance for redemption lies in Monday's matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. With a big three that features an athletic point guard who can shoot, a stretch four who can shoot and LeBron James, the Sacramento Kings could very well give up 1000 first quarter points. The game can be seen on CSN-CA, heard on KHTK 1140 and begins at 4pm. Lets talk Kings basketball.
A Few Things to Consider:
Cavs By the Numbers: Much has been made about the Cavaliers this season in regards to their odd coaching changes, but as owners of the fourth best offensive rating and the seventh best defensive rating, it's without question that this LeBron James led Cavaliers squad so far deserves their top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Currently allowing the fourth lowest opponents points per game (96.6) and resting just outside the top ten in points per game (currently twelfth at 102.2) the Cavaliers are a good example of a team that can play at the third slowest pace in the NBA and produce winning basketball. Cleveland takes and makes the sixth most threes in the league, and though they're 25th in two pointers made and 29th in two pointers attempted a game, they're sixth in the league in percentage at over 50%.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Cavaliers are more than proficient in many areas. They're in the top ten in opponent two and three point field goal attempts and makes, free throws given up, offensive and defensive rebounding, steals and blocks. If a team is going to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, they have to play smart and efficient on both ends of the court.
Getting Up Early: One of the most frustrating parts about the Sacramento Kings comes from the way they start their games. Over the last seven games, the Sacramento Kings have yet to give up a first quarter of less than 30 points, with the opposition averaging 36 points over those games. The last time the Kings didn't give up 30 in the first quarter? On January 25th the Kings allowed only 16 points in the first against the Charlotte Hornets. This is the same game the Kings went on to give up 30 points in the second quarter and 42 in the third quarter and eventually lost the game in double OT. Allowing the opposition to come out and get comfortable immediately has time and time again proven costly to the Kings, who seem all too comfortable with trying to come back time and time again. When that strategy has failed against teams like the Sixers and Pelicans, it most certainly will against a team like the Cavaliers with a closer as good as LeBron James.
Odds and Ends:
-This game sees the return of former Sacramento Kings guard, Jared Cunningham.
-The Sacramento Kings have lost their last two games by identical scores: 119-128.
-The all time matchup between the Kings and the Cavaliers is currently at 56 wins for the Kings and 55 for the Cavaliers. Counting just time in Sacramento, its lopsided in favor of the Cavs at 35 wins to 22.
Prediction: The Kings try standing their ground in the first quarter, feel the love for their efforts from a coach on the brink, and fans see some "I" men become "We" men on the defensive end, en route to a surprise win: Kings 110, Cavs 107.
For the other side of things, please visit our friends at Fear The Sword.