The Cleveland Cavaliers have a few days of rest after their Warriors match, playing the Oklahoma City Thunder next on Nov. 8 at 8 pm ET. That game is the first in a four-game Western road trip until they host the Detroit Pistons at home for the In-Season Tournament on Nov. 17.
On their road trip, the Cavaliers will face off against the Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Portland Trail Blazers. The Cavaliers have already played one game against the Thunder and Warriors each, leaving both the Kings and Trail Blazers games to be the first opportunity to see how these teams match up after a busy offseason.
The Kings were one of the few teams to make very few moves this summer, opting to spend their available cap space to retain veteran forward Harrison Barnes and bank on internal growth with a mix of young talent and proven star power in De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. The Cavs failed to beat the Kings either meeting last season, making this road game the most intriguing of the Western Conference trip.
Additionally, these two teams are uniquely opposite to each other yet similar simultaneously. Like the Cavs, their most dynamic weapon is the connection between backcourt and frontcourt stars. While Cleveland emphasizes their defensive identity above all else, the Kings heavily favor their fast-paced offense over defense. Although the Cavaliers said they plan to up their pace this season, they are still built to play slow and grind out a win, unlike the Kings. Both teams reached the playoffs with homecourt advantage in 2023 but fell short in the first round. With much to prove this regular season, both teams will look to compete every game and build toward a better postseason in 2024.
Individually, Evan Mobley’s continued development as a multi-faceted big will be worth monitoring this week. His offense is improving, but the scoring consistency is lagging behind. Given time, he may come into his own now that the starting roster will hopefully remain healthy.