Cavs’ Bickerstaff on win over Kings: ‘It’s a win, so we’ll take it, but it wasn’t our best’

The Cavaliers had a terrible taste in their mouth after losing to the Warriors Sunday night, but fortunately for them, they had a chance to change that taste when they played the Kings Monday night as both teams were playing the second half of a back-to-back.

Cleveland got off to a good start and led 62-49 at halftime. However, the Kings would rally in the second half to take a four-point lead in the fourth with over six minutes to go, but the Cavs would eventually build a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and would hold on to defeat the Kings 109-108 at Golden 1 Center.

The Cavs(23-18), who swept the season series from the Kings, are 2-1 on their current six-game road trip, while the Kings(16-27) have lost five straight.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Jarrett Allen is a man of his word. Allen took full responsibility for the Cavs getting outrebounded against Golden State. He knew he had to be better, and against the Kings, he was better. Allen had a double-double with 18 points, 17 rebounds to go along with two blocks. He secured the double-double in the first half with 12 points and 12 rebounds, including a career-high tying nine rebounds in the first quarter.

-Evan Mobley also had a bounce-back game. He had 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Mobley, who scored in double figures for the eighth consecutive game, stuffed the stat sheet as he usually does. 

-Darius Garland had a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists. He also added five rebounds. Garland had only three points in the first half but scored nine points in the second half, including seven in the final quarter.

Kevin Love and Cedi Osman gave the Cavs great production off the bench. Love scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, and Osman added 15 points. Since returning from COVID, Osman has been in double figures in two out of the last three games.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Turnovers:  Cleveland had 17 turnovers, which led to 20 points for Sacramento. The Cavs have had 36 turnovers in the last two games.

The final 2:34 of the game:  After a Lauri Markkanen(15 points) three, Cleveland led 109-99 with 2:34 left in the game. However, the Kings went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 109-108 with 11.0 seconds to go. Fortunately for Cleveland, De’Aaron Fox missed a jump shot at the buzzer after great defense from Rajon Rondo, and the Cavs would hold on.

Bottom Line:

Excellent bounce-back performance for the Cavs after the way things went against the Warriors. This is the type of effort you like to see from a team following a bad performance, especially Allen, who showed that he’s a team leader and an All-Star.

Cleveland was not at its best Monday night, but a win is a win, and now they have surpassed their win total(22) from last season.

“It’s a win, so we’ll take it, but it wasn’t our best,” Cavs head coach Bickerstaff said. “We talk about playing with purpose and discipline for 48 minutes. We didn’t do that tonight.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their six-game road trip in Utah against the Jazz Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

The Kings had six players in double figures, led by Tyrese Haliburton’s 21 points. Buddy Hield added 19 points off the bench. 

Cleveland also had six players double figures. In addition, Rondo had five points, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals off the bench.

Watch below as Mobley and Allen react to win over Kings:

Cavs’ Garland: ‘The sky is the limit because we have so much talent’

For the second straight game and night, the Cleveland Cavaliers led from start to finish, and for the second straight game and night, the Cavaliers had seven players in double figures as they defeated the Sacramento Kings 117-103 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Saturday night.

The Cavaliers routed the Timberwolves 123-106 in Minnesota Friday night.

Cleveland led by as many as 29 points against Sacramento and took a 23-point lead into the fourth. The Kings would cut the lead to seven after a 18-2 run, but they ran out of time.

The Cavs(16-12) have won three straight and are 7-2 in the last nine games; Sacramento(11-16) dropped their second consecutive game.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Kings.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Second Quarter: What a first half for Cleveland! They scored 81 points, which tied a team record for the most points in a first half, but let’s go back to that second quarter. The Cavaliers put up a near-team record of 45 points. They turned a 13-point first-quarter lead to a 29-point halftime bulge(81-52). Cleveland finished the quarter on an 18-4 run and shot 62% from the floor. 

Second Quarter Cedi Osman. He went off in the quarter, scoring 13 points, including 3/3 from downtown. At one point, Osman scored eight straight points for the Cavaliers. Osman, who has been solid off the Cavs’ bench this season, finished the game with 18 points(all in the first half/career-high for a half).

-After recording a season-high 16 points Friday night against Minnesota, Isaac Okoro scored 11 of his season-high 20 points in the first quarter. He scored on drives and was 2/3 from downtown. Okoro finished the game shooting 7/8 from the floor. He also had four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

-Darius Garland had his second consecutive double-double with 15 points and a career-high 13 assists. He also added six rebounds and three steals. This was Garland’s eighth double-double of the season. Over the last nine games, he’s averaging 20.6 points, 9.1 assists on 50.7% shooting, including 47% from downtown. 

-Jarrett Allen did what Jarrett Allen always does, and that’s record a double-double. Allen had his third straight double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He also did it on the defensive end with three blocks and two steals. Allen had his 10th double-double in the last 11 games, and he recorded the 100th double-double of his career.

-Evan Mobley is just so good. He had 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, and he became the first rookie for Cleveland to have a 15 and 15 game since Tristian Thompson, who was in the house Saturday as a member of the Kings.

-Ricky Rubio had 15 points, three assists, and three steals. He also had two big threes in the fourth when the Kings were making their run.

Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Fourth Quarter: Look, the Kings cut the lead to seven and outscored Cleveland 25-16 in the final period, and at one point went on a 18-2 run. It appeared Cleveland let it up a little bit, but this could a lesson for them, they have to learn how to close teams out, which will come in time.

Bottom Line:

The Cavaliers should have beaten the Kings, and they did, and they are not just beating teams; they are blowing them out. Cleveland has won the last three games by at least 14 points.

Cleveland scored 81 points in the first half, which is so impressive.

Also, if Okoro keeps playing at a high level on the offensive end, to go along with his stellar defense, the Cavaliers will be tough to beat. 

“The sky is the limit because we have so much talent, and we’re so young, but we also have some veterans to help lead the way,” Garland said.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their three-game homestand Monday night against the Heat.

Best of the Rest:

-Kevin Love added 11 points, including 3/3 from downtown Saturday night. Love his shooting 50% from three-point range in the last seven games. 

-Buddy Hield led Sacramento with 21 points.

Watch below as Mobley, Garland, and Okoro react to the big win over Sacramento:

Report: Joe Johnson to sign with Rockets

According to ESPN, Joe Johnson is expected sign with the Houston Rockets after his buyout is complete with the Sacramento Kings.

Johnson was sent to Sacramento, by the Jazz, in a three-team deal that included the Cavs and Kings before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday.

Johnson, 36, gives the Rockets another guy that can shoot the ball and provides the team with more depth.

Shaqtin’ a Fool? Shaq thinks Wizards’ Otto Porter plays for Kings

Hall of Famer and minority owner of the Sacramento Kings Shaquille O’Neal just had a “Shaqtin’ a Fool” moment. O’Neal, who is a NBA analyst for TNT, thought that Wizards F Otto Porter played for the Kings. 

You see, Porter had offer from the Sacramento Kings this summer, but he did not sign. Ultimately, Porter would sign an offer sheet from the Nets, which was matched by the Wizards. 

Listen to what Shaq had to say courtesy of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

It sounds like Shaq is in vacation mode. Maybe he needs some icy hot for his brain!

Report: Kings to make trade proposal for Kyrie Irving

According to Amico Hoops, the Sacramento Kings are putting together a package to try to acquire Kyrie Irving.

The proposed package is expected to include rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox, sources said, and perhaps center Kosta Koufos, as well as others to help make the salaries match.

Irving, who reportedly has asked to be traded, would like to have a bigger role with another team. The 25-year-old Irving has three years left on his contract at $60 million, but he can opt out in two years.

In looking at this deal from the Kings perspective, it is a great move. You get a young player who could possibly lead your franchise. In addition, it would satisfy Irving’s desire to lead a team. From the Cavaliers side, getting Fox could be good long-term, but short-term, does not help the team win a title next season.

As Kyrie Irving puts it, Cleveland is in a “peculiar place.” They don’t know what LeBron James is going to do (James can opt out contract in summer 2018). Therefore, the question becomes when you trade Irving, do you get young players to grow with, or  veteran players that can help you win now?

It’s question that Cleveland will have to answer in the coming weeks.

 

 

Rudy Gay to the Spurs

Rudy Gay is expected to sign with the Spurs. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a two-year deal, worth $17 million plus with a player option. For Gay, it’s an opportunity to play for a contender. For the Spurs, you get another guy who can put the ball in the basket. Moreover, in order to beat the Warriors, you are going to have to score a lot of points.

Great opportunity for the 30-year-old Gay, who averaged 18.2 ppg for the Kings last season. 

LaMarcus Aldridge on the move?

Could the LaMarcus Aldridge era in San Antonio be over? Aldridge, who signed a 4-year, 84 million dollar deal with the Spurs in 2015, could be had for a top 10 pick, according Sam Amico.  

Aldridge did have some struggles last season in San Antonio. He reportedly was upset with his role.

According to Amico, the Sacramento Kings could be the destination for Aldridge. The Kings have picks 5 and 10.

This should be fun!

The return of Sam Hinkie?

Could we see the return of former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie? According to ESPN, the Sacramento Kings are looking to talk to Hinkie. Does that mean the end of Vlade Divac in Sacramento? Does Hinkie work alongside Divac?

We’ll see where this goes.

 

https://twitter.com/WojVerticalNBA/status/846513576529612800

Matt Barnes on his time in Sacramento: ‘Things didn’t go well there’

Matt Barnes is one lucky guy. He was able to get out of Sacramento, and land with the best team in the NBA. Barnes, who signed with the Warriors after being released by the Kings, will get an opportunity at revenge tonight as the Warriors host Sacramento. Barnes told reporters what he wants to do to the Kings:

“I’m trying to kill em,” said Barnes “Plain and simple. Things didn’t go well there.”

Well, there is a good possibility that Barnes and Warriors will “kill” the Kings, but that is not saying much!

Pelicans 0-3 since Cousins’ trade

Pelicans are now 0-3 since trading for DeMarcus Cousins. Concern? It has only been three games, and it will take time for everybody to get comfortable. End of the day, many were quick to crown the Pelicans as the number eight seed in the Western Conference. I was hoping the Pels would get the eighth seed, so they we could see how their size would matchup against the Warriors. At this point, the Pelicans are 3.5 behind the eighth seeded Nuggets with 22 games to play. Good news is they have three games left against the Nuggets; bad news is they have to jump four teams.

Pick it up Pelicans! Pick it up!