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Kings vs. Cavs Preview: Steer Clear of the Cavaliers

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The Kings limp home after a bushwacking in LA and must spend their second night of a back to back facing down Lebron James and Company.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Hey there! How was your Christmas? Ohh really? You don’t say? Wow that is frustrating! Oh and your parents too huh? Yeah, yep I read that article too. Hey listen: IT’S DECEMBER 26TH AND THAT MEAAAAANS KINGS BASKETBALL! Wait, what? It’s December 27th?? Did the Kings end up having a game last night? Against who? The Clippers? Oh sorry, I must have missed it. How’d we do-actually on second thought, I don’t care! Today’s a new day, a new game and boy do we have a dandy here in Sacramento: Lebron James, Kevin Love and the Nets first round pick are in town for a match-up with a Kings squad trying to get out of 2017 with any semblance of positivity. Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Wednesday, December 27th; 7:00 pm PST

Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

All Eyes on Bron: The Kings are down to their final three games of 2017 and with the other two games against fellow lottery locks Phoenix and Memphis, consider this your last real chance to see the Kings get whooped on in our calendar year, and the last time StR writers are allowed to use The King/the Kings comparison to annoy you for the season. This is the second time in three weeks that fans will get to see the Kings take on The King (seeeeeee it is annoying, right?) and if the game can stay as competitive as the first time around, we’re in for a fun one. To refresh your memory on December 6th contest in Cleveland, Jakarr Sampson had 16 rebounds in a game sans Cauley-Stein (back injury) or Labissiere (dog house Reno), the Kings spent most of the game ahead of the Cavs and then Lebron lebron’d and pulled the Cavs away in the final minutes of the game en route to 32 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists. So how are the Kings to fair this time around against a team that has won 19 of its last 22 games with a front runner for MVP at the helm?

Well, for one, the Cavaliers have holes to exploit. They’re a bad defensive team. They’re the 5th worst defensive rated team and allow the 8th most points per game at 107.3 a contest. In their previous matchup, Bogdan Bogdanovic would have been completely undetectable if it wasn’t for the sounds of his shots clanging off the backboard; the man shot 1-8 for the game, missing 6 three’s in the process. The Cavs are going defense allows for the Kings to get some scoring, and if Frank Mason III and Buddy Hield can have another good game (17 and 15 points last time around, respectively) then the Kings can keep things close yet again. The Cavs give up the most opponent three attempts in the NBA and are letting teams shoot 37% from range and boy howdy wouldn’t you know it but the Kings are the 6th best three point shooting team in the league at 38.3%. Now, if only Sacramento took more than the second least in the NBA.

On the other side of the ball, the Cavaliers aren’t a very good offensive rebounding team so, yes, they may shoot the fourth most three points and make them at a percentage even higher than the Kings, but the Kings should be able to limit them to only one shot. I mean, I guess that would be true if the Kings weren’t also the third worst defensive rebounding team in the league. This game features the third and seventh worst shotblocking teams in the league, and also two of the ten best in terms of player fouls, so points can be had at the rim. If the Kings want to win this game, it’ll be perimeter defense clamping down on shooters and second chance points. Giving the Cavs second and third opportunities to score will break the back of any cohesive game that the Kings are putting together.

Prediction: The Kings win by eleventy zillion points. ClipsNation tweets a #NeverForget that I was right. They never forget.

Kings: 11ty Zillion and 97, Cavaliers: 97