Warriors (37-3) @ Cavaliers (28-10)
The Cavaliers bounced back in a big way on Friday night with their win against the lowly Houston Rockets, 91 to 77. Now after their very successful road trip, 5-1, the Cavaliers return home for one of the biggest home games this season. The Cavs will look for revenge of their horrible showing on Christmas, in which they posted extremely low shooting percentages throughout the game and were playing from behind the majority of the time.
The Warriors have continued their historic start, however; they have seen some bumps along the way. They lost to a horrible Nuggets squad this past week and they turn into a D-League squad whenever PG Stephen Curry or PF Draymond Green are out due to injury. With the biggest reason for concern being injuries for most competing teams, look for the Warriors to possibly rest players after their game against Cleveland.
The Cavaliers were looking forward to their road trip and for good reason. Playing a majority of the games against the lower opponents in the league, the Wine and Gold were able to adjust quickly. The only time the Cavaliers were beaten during their trip was against the San Antonio Spurs, a team that the Warriors have yet to play against.
The Cavaliers possess one of the best home records in the league standing at 15-1.
Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers – Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, Ohio
Game Start: 8:00 p.m. TV – TNT
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Kyrie Irving: 17.0 PPG, 3.8 APG, 2.8 RPG
SG: JR Smith: 12.1 PPG, 1.6 APG, 2.7 RPG
SF: LeBron James: 25.5 PPG, 6.1 APG, 7.4 RPG
PF: Kevin Love: 15.9 PPG, 2.4 APG, 10.8 RPG
C: Timofey Mozgov: 6.0 PPG, 0.5 APG, 4.3 RPG
PG: Stephen Curry: 29.7 PPG, 6.4 APG, 5.2 RPG
SG: Klay Thompson: 20.7 PPG, 2.4 APG, 3.9 RPG
SF: Harrison Barnes: 12.7 PPG, 1.8 APG, 4.7 RPG
PF: Draymond Green: 15.0 PPG, 7.3 APG, 9.7 RPG
C: Andrew Bogut: 5.8 PPG, 2.1 APG, 7.2 RPG
Players to Watch For:
Both players to watch tonight are both major parts of the offense for their respective teams. Both players are deadly from beyond the arc, but there are key differences between the players. One player hasn’t battled injuries throughout his career, while the other player hasn’t played the majority of the season because of injury.
SG Klay Thompson
Known as one of the streakiest players in the league, Klay Thompson has stretches where he dominates like none other and times when he plays like an average shooting guard. Thompson is averaging a little below what he did last year in terms of scoring and you almost wouldn’t even notice. Thompson had a game earlier in the year where he dropped 43 points total and 27 points alone in the third quarter. Thompson has made it tough to defend just Curry because sometimes he’s just as deadly as anyone in the league. Expect Klay to look for his shot early and often against the Cavs.
PG Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving, known as the X-Factor by many for this championship-caliber team, is back from his knee injury suffered during the NBA Finals, against these same Warriors, back in June. Irving was thought to have encountered rust with his game but the total opposite has occurred. Dropping loads of points in games so far and helping the team overall, Irving has returned just in time as PG Mo Williams, the original backup, has been out for an extended period. Expect Kyrie to play a lot more minutes than he did in the first matchup against the Warriors earlier this season.
- Mo Williams: (Bereavement) Day to Day.
- James Michael McAdoo: (Toe) Day to Day.
- Cavaliers 9-1 in last 10 games.
- Warriors 8-2 in last 10 games.
- Cavaliers 15-1 at home.
- Warriors 18-3 in away games.