Game 52 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Cleveland Cavaliers
Gametime: 4:00 pm PT
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television), NBA TV (National Television)
Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (17-34)
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Marcus Thornton
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Cleveland Cavaliers Projected Starters (18-33)
What to watch
1. How does DeMarcus Cousins respond following the last two losses?
The Kings starting center has had two subpar games recently. Against the Celtics, Cousins posted a healthy 31 points and 16 rebounds, but also allowed Jared Sullinger to record the same exact stat-line in victory. Sunday against the Wizards, Cousins came unhinged early, which limited him to just 14 points on 16 shots in defeat. The Kings usually go the way of their best player. If Cousins doesn’t come out with the right intensity and focus, another loss could be in store for the Kings.
2. Will illness continue to limit Rudy Gay’s effectiveness?
The numbers weren’t pretty for the veteran small forward on Sunday. Coming back to the Kings’ lineup after missing a game with the flu, Gay scored just five points on 2-of-11 shooting and committed four turnovers. When Gay is at full strength, opposing teams have trouble containing the 27-year-old wing. However, the flu seemed limit the lift on Gay’s shot in Sunday’s loss to the Wizards. Will a day off get him back to speed?
3. The bench battle
Ben McLemore had a nice game off the Kings’ bench against the Wizards. The rookie guard was aggressive, made a few plays off the dribble and scored 11 points on a decent 5-of-12 shooting from the field. But as a first year player, McLemore has struggled with perform at a consistent level each and every night. Dion Waiters is certainly capable of putting up big numbers off the Cavs’ bench. The second-year guard is averaging 14.3 points in 28.6 minutes per game this season.