Who? Sacramento Kings (11-20) at Cleveland Cavaliers (7-25)
When? 7:00 P.M Eastern
Where? Quicken Loans Arena -- Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Tickets? Cleveland Cavaliers tickets
Enemy/brother blog? Sactown Royalty
Counting Crows - A Long December (via CountingCrowsVEVO)
It was indeed a long December for the Cavs, but there is also reason to believe this year will be better than the last. Though the (heart-breakingly close) losses keep piling up, we can all keep holding onto the positive signs. C.J. Miles looks like he may still be the productive scorer off the bench we thought we were getting over the summer. Tristan Thompson continues to show he can be serviceable offensively, and quite good defensively. Not sure the Brook Lopez trade actually happens, but that is exactly the type of player the Cavs should be trying to pair with Thompson moving forward. Dion Waiters needed a full year to adjust to the college game, so it shouldn't surprise us that it is taking a little while for him to get used to the pro game. The team overall continues to play very hard; you can be upset with Byron Scott's rotations, but thus far the team has shown up to play just about every night. If you don't think Scott does in-game adjustments, just where was Brook Lopez in the second half of the Nets game the other night after completely shredding Cleveland in the first half.
Okay, that was a long paragraph. But I think positive signs are there. We haven't even been getting great basketball from Kyrie Irving, and we are still competing with solid teams like the Hawks and Nets. Even though the Kings aren't very good, this could end up being a tough matchup for us. Anderson Varejao is out again, and if the good DeMarcus Cousins shows up, he will be a major handful for Tyler Zeller. The Kings generally have a bunch of solid offensive players, none of whom really enjoy passing. The Cavs, conversely, have some decent on the ball defenders who don't really understand what to do when the ball is somewhere else. How that plays out tonight is anyone's guess.
Tyreke Evans is out, and Marcus Thornton is questionable. This will be the Kings' 9th straight game without Evans, and they are 4-4 in that stretch. It will be fascinating to see where Evans goes this summer, or if the Kings ultimately decide to keep him.
Things I would like to see: A nice bounce-back game for Kyrie would be nice; My most recent theory is that he is thinking too much on the court, and maybe taking his role as a floor general a little too seriously. He seems to be getting too worked up about things that don't go according to the plan. I am glad he gets on teammates and is frustrated when people don't meet his standard, but at the same time the game moves so fast he needs to be able to move on and keep playing. This theory may or may not have any grounding in reality. I would like to see another Tristan Thompson double-double, and I would like to see Dion Waiters pick some fools pocket and throw the hammer down.
Things I don't want to see: Cousins killing Zeller early, getting him in foul trouble, and the recently recalled Samardo Samuels subsequently getting serious minutes. Waiters fade-aways. Newly mask-less Tristan Thompson getting hit in the face.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction: Cavs win 108-103. Kyrie Irving is excellent, the defense from both teams is pretty bad, but Kyrie hits free throws late to seal the win. I will be at the game tonight, so that is pretty cool. Have fun in the game thread.