The Cavaliers have looked much better since removing Andrew Bynum from their lineup,and the Kings have looked better since acquiring Rudy Gay. The Kings are 6-8 in games with Rudy Gay and he is shooting 51.4% from the floor since putting on the purple.
When: 6:00 pm ET
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California
Where on my eyeballs: Fox Sports Ohio/ NBA League Pass
Feeling good, feeling great, how are you?
What to watch for the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Can C.J. Miles continue his strong play? Miles is 17-25 combined in his last two games. When he is rolling like this it adds another dimension to the Cavs offense and makes it a lot harder to focus on just Kyrie Irving in the back court.
How many minutes will Luol Deng play tonight? Deng played 21 minutes in his debut with the Cavs and was apparently on a minutes limitation despite being healthy. Hopefully he's had time to learn more of the offense and is able to play more minutes. The Cavaliers would really benefit from being able to put him on the Kings dangerous offensive option, Rudy Gay.
Will Kyrie Irving ruin Isaiah Thomas' life? It's possible.
Lost in the Deng good time we had after the Utah win was the fact that it was only our third road win of the year. Tonight's game in Sacramento is the second of a five game road trip. In order for the Cavaliers to complete the turnaround this season they will need to improve their road record. With this game against the Kings and Tuesday's against the reeling Lakers, the Cavs have a prime opportunity to build on their road record.
What to watch for the Kings:
BOOGIE! I love Demarcus Cousins. While he is a below average defensive player for his position and can be prone to making boneheaded decisions on and off the court, he also features one of the best low post games in the league as well as a surprising ball handling/ play making ability for a big man. He's a terror on the boards and is a handful for any big in the league. Cousins is averaging 29.5 and 13 so far in the month of January. Whether or not the Cavaliers can slow him down will go a long way towards determining who comes away with a win tonight.
Isaiah Thomas has been a pleasant surprise for Sacramento. He's averaging 19.1 points and 6.3 assists per game this season. While he's small in stature, he has provided a major punch for the Kings and allowed them to move their starting point guard at the start of the year, Greivius Vasquez, along with others in order to upgrade their small forward position with Rudy Gay.
Rudy Gay has dramatically improved the production the Kings have received from their perimeter. The key to slowing him down is to force him to settle for jumpers. Gay is only shooting 25.7% from three since joining the Kings. While he's not THAT bad, he's never been a great shooter and is usually at his best attacking the rim. Deng's defense will be very important in slowing down Gay.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Cavs win their third straight game. 110-95