3 Keys to extending the Kings’ win streak tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers

Sacramento Kings v Cleveland Cavaliers
Sacramento Kings v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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2. Perimeter Defense

The Cavaliers have six players who are averaging double-digit scoring: their starting five and Caris LeVert. Out of those six players, Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Max Strus, and Caris LeVert are all threats from the perimeter.

You can’t leave them open enough to fire a three, but you also can’t let them get to the rim. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are both players that you don’t necessarily want to face in the paint. 

Their long arms get everywhere, they grab rebounds, they block shots, and just generally make life in the paint tough for anyone who is not Mitchell Robinson. The Kings’ bigs will have their hands full, especially in the starting lineup. 

Sabonis is not a rim protector and also not the tallest guy out there, There is only so much the Kings can do against the two bigs, so they should be extra focused on their perimeter defense. 

They don’t need the guards attacking the rim as well. It also doesn’t promise to end well for the Kings if one of the guards has to switch onto a big. So, the guards need to work extra hard to stay in front of Mitchell, Garland, Strus, and LeVert and fight over screens. 

Currently, the Cavaliers only average 32.6 percent from three. Meanwhile, they shoot 53.8 percent on two-point field goals, so forcing them into tough three-pointers instead of letting them get to the rim could very well make the difference. 

This is easier said than done, however. As of now, the Kings allow an average of 51.3 points in the paint per game. That is not good. In fact, it only ranks 19th in the entire league. 

Last season, the Kings ranked 26th in that category. They couldn’t keep anyone out of the paint, and there has been an emphasis on fixing that. Now is the time to get started.