Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Can You Say 21-0?!?!

By Sean Trench

The road team this time was the Sacramento Kings. The Kings came into this game with an overall record of 10-35. But on this night, they did not play like a team that had 35 losses. With proficient outside shooters such as Francisco Garcia, Kevin Martin, and Beno Udrih, they kept the Kings in the game all the way to the end. Udrih was a part of the San Antonio Spurs during their championship years. He was the backup to Tony Parker. Oh and I forgot Bobby Brown, you know the legendary R&B singer from the former group New Edition? Who is also Whitney Houston's husband? Oh wait, he is actually a rookie guard from Cal-State Fullerton. Another good outside shooter though. Can you see where I am going with this?

This game was ugly for both teams. Well, the final score read 117-110, Cleveland needed some much-needed help from a reliable source. Mo "The Hitman" Williams scored a career high 43 points on 15-24 shooting, and 7-12 from beyond the arc. At one point, Mo hit eight shots in a row! He was on fire throughout the whole game. Mo also had 8 rebounds and 11 assists as well. If it wasn't for Robin,"aka Mo" the Cavaliers wouldn't have won this game. Batman "aka Lebron" finished with an easy triple-double with 23 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists. It was his third triple-double this season. Fresh off being named NBA Player of The Week, he proved why. There were other good things to take from this game too, however.

The play that Tarence Kinsey gave them tonight off the bench was outstanding! His constant hustle and tenacious defense really gave them a boost. I would like to see him be given more minutes in the near future. J.J. Hickson also gave the Cavs energy and hustle off the bench with 11 points and 8 rebounds. But J.J. was in good position and constantly was moving to create his shots. He is learning more and more with each game. Other than these four players, the Cavs were flat. The highlight of this game though was the shooting performance of Mo Williams and Kevin Martin.

Kevin Martin finished the game with 35 points for the Kings. He was 8-17 shooting and 4-9 from 3 point range. He was also 15-17 from the free-throw line. He constantly was getting to the basket at will and creating his shot. Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown was not happy after the game saying "This was not Cavalier Basketball, we did not bring it defensively tonight." The Kings as a team shot 50% from the field. The Cavaliers pride themselves on keeping teams considerably under that number. John Salmons finished with 21 points, and rookie Jason Thompson had a nice game with 16 points.

Overall I think that Head Coach Kenny Natt has a team that he can work with, to continue to make the Kings better. He was formerly an assistant coach with Cleveland. He will get this team to play defense and bring in the players to do so. This team as it is currently constructed does not play defense at all. The Cavaliers should have beat the Kings tonight by a higher margin. They just didn't have it tonight offensively as a whole. They shot just 47% overall, and 42% from 3 point range. They did have a bright spot however, outrebounding the Kings 49-25.

I think that with the way that Mo Williams played on the West Coast trip, and also tonight, he has earned a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team. He has been a catalyst all season long for this team. It will be tough for coaches to choose between Jameer Nelson (Magic), and Devin Harris (Nets), and Williams (Cavs). Also Mike Brown can be the Head Coach of the All-Star team as well, if the Cavaliers keep winning. He would be the second coach to do so. Lenny Wilkins was the last, in 1989.

So the Cavaliers will be back to practice tomorrow with hopefully more good news. Zydrunas Illgauskas was back to practice and is hopeful that he can play Thursday against the Orlando Magic. This game will be another test for Cleveland as they look to keep building on their now 35-8 record. The Magic have excellent outside shooters and an interior force in the middle as well. Orlando is 34-10, so they are right up there with the top three teams in the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers have the best overall record in the NBA, followed by the Cavaliers, then the Celtics, and the Magic.

Continue to show why Cleveland has the best sports fans in the country. Keep up the support and passion that makes you the reason why Cleveland rocks! Go Cavs and continue to tune into SportsTalkNetwork.com starting with AM Mayhem at 9 AM EST tomorrow to listen to best Cavaliers coverage. Also, look forward to the return of the Vegas Wise Guys featuring Vegas Vic and myself as we broadcast live from the Harry Buffalo in Painesville Township, OH at 3pm. The restaurant is located at 2119 Mentor Ave. So come out and see us!

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