The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to recover from a pair of frustrating losses Saturday night when they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans. Monday night they have an opportunity to try and find some consistency as they take on the Sacramento Kings in the Drama Bowl!
Who? Sacramento Kings (21-30) vs Cleveland Cavaliers (36-14)
When? 7:00 p.m.
Where? Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy blog: Sactown Royalty
As I mentioned above, I am officially dubbing this game the Drama Bowl. The Cavaliers, being a LeBron James team, are always surrounded by drama and will have every move they make analysed to death (fairly or unfairly, usually fairly). The Sacramento Kings are also in a very similar situation and are reportedly on the verge of firing head coach George Karl, despite being very much alive in the weak race for the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
But beyond that, this is an opportunity for Cavs fans to see the incredible talent that is DeMarcus Cousins up close. Boogie has had a dominant season as he continues to expand his range, his defensive acumen and all around offensive game. He's arguably the best center in basketball and presents a huge challenge for Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov as they try to contain him.
The other focal points of the Kings offense are the under-appreciated Rudy Gay and box score stuffer Rajon Rondo. While Rondo is sure to get his assists, his overall impact on the game is debatable. Gay on the other hand will need to be contained, because while he isn't a star calibre player, he's still capable of going off and being very difficult to contain once he gets going. The main X-factor may be former Cavalier Omri Caspi. He's transformed his game since his departure from Cleveland into a knock-down shooter and strong defender, a far cry from his days in Wine and Gold.
On the Cavs front, they are likely to have Kevin Love return to the rotation after suffering a thigh bruise Friday night against the Celtics. Love's presence will mean the return of spacing, as the Cavs were forced into some awkward halfcourt sets Saturday night with Tristan Thompson playing out of position at power forward. But it will be interesting to see if Anderson Varejao gets some minutes after his strong Saturday performance. With Mozgov still playing like a shell of himself, the doorway is open for someone to at least take some of his minutes. Although Varejao hasn't exactly been the most consistent player the last couple years.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
I think the Cavs come out with a balanced attack, all three members of the big three get 20 points and the Cavs win 110-98.