Last year the Kings went to Cleveland and shocked the Cavaliers with an Arron Afflalo game winning jumper. This Kings team looks a lot different, while the Cavs are in a groove, winning their last twelve games.
When: Wednesday, December 6th; 4:00 pm PST
Where: Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
It wasn’t all that long ago when people were wondering if the Cavaliers were done. Kyrie Irving was thriving in Boston, Isaiah Thomas was nowhere close to returning from injury and the Cavaliers were the worst defensive team in the league. At 5-7, they were vastly underperforming.
But you can’t ever count out a LeBron James team. The Cavs made some adjustments, including moving newcomer Dwyane Wade to the bench, and LeBron James has still been LeBron James. In fact, without Irving, James has had to shoulder an even heavier burden than normal. Despite this being his 15th year in the NBA, James is averaging more points than he has since the last time he was in Cleveland, all while shooting a ridiculous 58.4% from the field and 41.6 from three, both career-highs. He is without a doubt the greatest player of his generation, and he doesn’t turn 33 until the end of this month.
James isn’t alone however. Kevin Love is a more featured part of the offense now and he’s averaging 19.2 points and 10.4 rebounds starting at center. Dwyane Wade isn’t nearly the same player he used to be, but he’s put his ego aside and accepted a bench role without hesitation. Kyle Korver has been instrumental for the Cavs in a few games, giving the Cavaliers a reliable deep threat. He and Jeff Green, another new Cleveland addition, have both killed the Kings in the past.
It remains to be seen when Isaiah Thomas returns and how he looks after his major injury, but right now the Cavs are rolling and the Kings will be hard pressed to stop them. Sacramento has no answer for a player of James caliber, and we’ve seen what someone like Giannis Antetokounmpo can do against this Kings team. Sacramento’s tallest and rangiest defender, Willie Cauley-Stein, is out for this one and Skal Labissiere, Justin Jackson and Malachi Richardson are in the D-League. Garrett Temple’s a great defender, but LeBron’s just too big for him. It’s not even enough to give him the open shot anymore because he’s hitting those now too. I expect we’ll see Jakarr Sampson get a lot of opportunity to guard him, or at least, attempt to guard him.
Prediction: The Cavs get out to an early lead but then LeBron James refuses to check back in because he’s too busy discussing Star Wars: The Last Jedi theories with Channing Frye. The Kings come back and win, but LeBron is now convinced that Rey is actually a secret descendant of Emperor Palpatine and that she will turn evil while Kylo Ren will turn good in a “flip the script” moment.
Kings 109, Cavs 104