Welcome home, Cavaliers! After a loooonnngggg seven game road trip, the Cavaliers finally return to Quicken Loans Arena to host the Golden State Warriors. The Cavs had a relatively successful road trip, going 3-4, and return home with a surprising .500 record at 6-6. Despite the weak opponents that the Cavs have played thus far, the schedule has been pretty brutal. The Wine and Golders have played just 3 home games compared to 9 road games. On top of that, the Cavs return home greets them with the second night of a back to back.
Song Of The Day: Cleveland Is The Reason - Kid Cudi
Welcome back to Cleveland.
Golden State Warriors (4-8) at Cleveland Cavaliers (6-6)
The run of below average opponents continues when the W's visit the Q. First year head coach, Mark Jackson, has done a better job instilling a defensive mindset in the Dubs, but due to some unfortunate injuries, hasn't seen the tangible results that he would have hoped for. The Warriors have been without their best player, Stephen Curry, for a couple weeks now, and it doesn't look like he will play again tonight. If you can believe it, the Warriors are also significantly hurt by the loss of Kwame Brown. The former #1 pick gave them an added defensive presence along with his obvious size. Brown is out for the rest of the season.
The Cavaliers are coming off of a nice road win in Charlotte and have a chance to once again get their record above .500. Without Steph Curry to worry about, the Cavs will focus all of their energy on stopping the electric Monta Ellis. Ellis is a prolific, if inefficient, scorer. Coming in as the 5th leading scorer in the NBA (24.6 ppg), Ellis will be a handful and a half for the Cleveland backcourt that suddenly is without the injured Anthony Parker. If it were up to me, I would make sure that Boobie Gibson was the one guarding Monta as much as possible.
The story, as usual, with the Cavaliers is the one regarding the rookies. Tristan Thompson has recently seen his minutes been somewhat diminished with the improved play of Antawn Jamison. Kyrie Irving has seen his minutes increasing as he further embraces the role of starting point guard/best player on the team. Irving has scored at least 20 points in 5 consecutive games and will try to extend that streak against a rather porous Warriors defense. Without Kwame Brown, GS is also quite thin in the front court. Hopefully Byron Scott gives Tristan Thompson the opportunity to wreak some havoc around the rim.
Daniel Gibson vs. Monta Ellis
I mentioned this a bit earlier but I want to reiterate my point. Boobie has proved to be the best wing defender on the Cavaliers in this season so far. Therefore, I would like to see Scott employ Boobie to guard their best player. This makes sense, right? I do not know if this is what Scott will actually do, but we shall see. It is possible that Byron wants to put Irving on Ellis in order to help the rookie continue to learn and improve on the defensive side of the ball. Either way, guarding Monta will be paramount to the Cavaliers efforts tonight. If Cleveland can slow down Ellis, that will go a long want towards winning tonight.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Considering I only predicted 16 wins at the beginning of the season, it seems weird that the Cavaliers would reach 7 wins before January is over. Regardless of my stupid predictions, I think the Cavs will win once again. A victory by the score of 109-102 will push the Cavs to over .500. Booyah.