Game 32 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Cleveland Cavaliers

 Isaiah Thomas drives past Kevin Garnett.

Gametime: 4:00 pm PT

Where:  Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland Ohio

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – 1140 The Fan

For Celtics perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate Cavs: The Blog.

The book on the Cavs:  The Cavs are just 2-8 in their last 10 games, but they haven’t played since losing to the Nets on Saturday.  They are well rested, young and facing a team with a 1-13 road record.  Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters provide the scoring for this team, but they are punchless in the post without veteran center Anderson Varejao.  Coach Byron Scott has tightened his rotation of late, relying heavily on Luke Walton, C.J. Miles and Jeremy Pargo.

Did you know?  Starting the last three games, Isaiah Thomas is averaging 16.7 points (.486FG%, 17-35 FG, .444 3pt%, 8-18 3pt, .889 FT%, 8-9 FT), 3.7 assists , and 31.7 minutes per contest.

Status Updates: Tyreke Evans is getting a second opinion on his sore left knee today and is not with the team.  Marcus Thornton is doubtful with a sprained left ankle.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (10-20)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Francisco Garcia
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Cleveland Cavaliers Probable Starters (7-25)

PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Dion Waiters
SF: Alonzo Gee
PF: 
Tristan Thompson
C:
Tyler Zeller

Stats and Rankings

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 96.8 (15th out of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 104.4 (18th out of 30)
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 101.8 (27th out of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.8 (28th out of 30)
  • Pace: 92.1 (12th out of 30)

Cavs

  • Points Per Game: 93.9 (24th out of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.9 (27th  out of 30)
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 99.4 (22nd out of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.9 (25th out of 30)
  • Pace: 91.5 (13th out of 30)

Three questions to ponder

1.  Who will slow DeMarcus Cousins?

The Kings starting center has played well since returning from his team suspension on Christmas Eve.  With Anderson Varejao out with a bruised right knee, the Cavs will call on rookie Tyler Zeller to do the job, but then what?  Jon LeuerKevin Jones?  The Kings have an obvious size advantage in this game and coach Keith Smart should pound the ball into the post to both Cousins and Jason Thompson.

2.  Who will win the point guard battle – the first or last pick from the 2011 NBA Draft?

In their only match-up last season, Isaiah Thomas won the battle, but Kyrie Irving won the war.  Thomas lit up Irving and barely missed a triple-double.   He finished the night with 23 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in only his second-career start, but it was Irving who got the bailout call with four-tenths of a second remaining and won the game with a pair of free throws.

3.  Will Thomas Robinson get more burn this time around against Cleveland?

Robinson has seen a major dip in minutes of late with James Johnson stealing plenty of time as the reserve power forward.  In his last three appearances, Robinson has averaged less than 10 minutes per contest, which included a three minute stint yesterday against the Detroit Pistons.  He was also benched for the first time in his career due to coach’s decision in Friday’s game against the New York Knicks.  The Kings might be able to use Robinson’s presence tonight against another undersized power forward in Tristan Thompson.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

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About: James Ham

James Ham provides coverage through news analysis and in-depth interviews with Kings players and staff. James is also one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart". James graduated UC Davis with a degree in history and is happily married with two children.