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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Game 33: Kings at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Kings are in the midst of playing four games in five nights on the road. They lost at Detroit on Tuesday.

They were 1-13 on the road coming into Wednesday's game, 0-4 vs. the Eastern Conference. The Cavs had won 10 of their last 11 games vs. the Kings, including a 5-1 mark at The Q.

So, what happened? Yep, the Cavs once again failed to protect their home turf. They are exactly the same at home as they are on the road. Bad.

They are supposed to be developing their young talent this year. Instead, that young talent is regressing in many ways. Once again, Kyrie Irving was mediocre. Sure, he had a game-high 22 points. However, he was disengaged for much of the game. He wasn't being aggressive making plays.

He's too talented to be playing like this. The most discouraging sign of his night was his three turnovers in the final 3:50 of the game. When they needed him the most, he broke down.

Rookie Dion Waiters finished with 20 points, but he appeared to be miffed about being demoted from the starting lineup. He just launched shots for much of the night.

Tyler Zeller didn't play well, either, and he hasn't for the last week or so. He struggled trying to defend DeMarcus Cousins, who ended with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Zeller had eight points and eight rebounds.

Cousins in a major talent. He can also step out on the floor and make 18-footers, which I hadn't seen before.  The Kings say he isn't going to be traded. If he is, it can't be to a team like the Cavs. It would have to be to a team like New York or Boston, teams that have strong veteran players to keep him in line.

If he came to the Cavs as one media member thought should happen (no names, please), he would soon be a major voice in the locker room. The Cavs have no veterans that speak up. He also doesn't fit the culture with which they are trying to build.

Power forward Tristan Thompson played hard, but was in foul trouble. He ended with nine points and 13 rebounds. He's been pretty darn good the last couple weeks. Most think it's because Cavs center Anderson Varejao (bruised right knee) has been out of the lineup.

By the way, Varejao has now missed seven consecutive games (the Cavs are 2-5).

He must have some bruised knee. There are rumors that it's much worse. Of course, I'm not a doctor (I just play one on television). Just kidding.

He is still experiencing pain when he tries to push off on his leg.

Guard Daniel Gibson (concussion) is perhaps days from coming back. His outside shooting is needed.

For the Kings, guards Tyreke Evans (sore left knee) and Marcus Thornton (sprained left ankle) missed Wednesday's game.

Shaun Livingston made his Cavs' debut and had two points, two rebounds and one assist in 13 minutes. He is long, if nothing else.

As a brief aside, can you believe how little Thomas Robinson plays for the Kings. He had two points and two rebounds in eight minutes. He was the fifth pick in the draft. Why isn't he playing? That's the only way he'll get better. This isn't a playoff team. Aren't they trying to develop their young players?

LAST GAME: The Cavs lost to Brooklyn on Saturday, 103-100.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Charlotte at 7 p.m. Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. John Salmons (6-6, 207)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Jason Thompson (6-11, 250)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. DeMarcus Cousins (6-11, 270)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 222) vs. Francisco Garcia (6-7, 195)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Isaiah Thomas (5-9, 185) 
Cavs – G Daniel Gibson, C Anderson Varejao
Kings - G Tyreke Evans
Scott Foster, Nick Buchert, Gary Zielinski


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