January 13, 2017, 9:38 am
Following their two days off at home, the Sacramento Kings return to action Friday night when they host Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This will be the first and only game between the two teams at Golden 1 Center.
For Sacramento, the current seven game home stand has not been as kind as one would imagine, with a majority of their opponents to this point being some of the top teams in the league. Cleveland will be no different, and it will take much more than home-court advantage to win Friday night.
Here are some notes heading into the matchup:
- Cleveland’s most recent game in Portland ended in a 102-86 win for the Trailblazers, a somewhat surprising outcome given the fact that Cleveland was playing with all of their top three players. Every team is capable of having a rough night, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this end up as an outlier for them. The Kings should be expecting a much better performance from them tonight.
- Sacramento has struggled during the home stand, going just 1-3 to this point. Sacramento will need to start playing better on their home court if they plan to contend for a postseason spot later in the year. Some good teams have come through Sacramento during that stretch, but losses to lesser opponents have also been a problem.
- Willie Cauley-Stein remained out of the rotation against the Pistons, and with Matt Barnes sitting that becomes even more surprising. Cauley-Stein had a great season last year under George Karl, but he has clearly struggled to adjust to Dave Joerger’s system. With Cauley-Stein continuing to sit out, it may be worth considering an assignment to Reno to get him playing regularly.
- Tristan Thompson is a very good rebounder, and with the team’s continued struggles on the glass, the Kings will need to make it a priority to keep Thompson from grabbing too many offensive rebounds. The Cavaliers are a very talented offensive team, so Sacramento will be challenged enough trying to contain them without giving them extra opportunities.
The Cavaliers are a very talented team, but this game is still within reach for the Kings. Sacramento will need to stringing together wins again soon to stay in the playoff hunt.