The Cavalier's came up just short of an important road win yesterday afternoon mere hours after the team learned that they would be without the services of Andrew Bynum for the foreseeable future. If the Cavaliers are going to have a shot tonight they will need a more consistent effort than the one displayed Saturday afternoon.
When: 6:00 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs: Fox Sports Ohio/ NBA League Pass
What to watch for the Cavaliers:
The Cavs need to make sure they do a good job sticking to their man off the ball. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry are one of the best shooting tandems the league has ever seen, and they move exceptionally well off of the ball. It will be up the the Cavaliers guards to stick with them and not get caught ball watching, resulting in surrendering open looks from three.
Andrew Bogut and David Lee are very strong rebounders. Golden State could pose a lot of the same problems that Portland gave the Cavs. Teams that shoot a lot from deep create long rebounds. It's on the Cavs bigs to keep Bogut and Lee off the glass, as well as the Cavs wings to put a body on a man when the shot goes up. The Cavaliers wings have done a terrible job all season giving up rebounds by not finding their man and putting a body on him. This burned them down the stretch against the Celtics and will certainly kill them again tonight if they don't do a better job of it.
Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao will all need to have strong games for the team to compete tonight. They've all played better as of late, with Andrew Bynum out of the fold someone will need to step up. While Bynum was not always efficient/ productive with the looks he got, he still took up a lot of possessions and that load will need to be carried by other players. Whether or not someone steps up in his absence will likely play a large part on whether or not this season gets turned around.
What to watch for the Golden State:
Pray Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson miss. If they get hot it doesn't matter how good the defense is, the Cavaliers don't have great perimeter defense. So prayer might be the teams best option.
The Warriors haven't been as good on the road as they have been at home. After traveling from out West it'll be interesting to see whether or not they get off to a good start.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Cavaliers lose 108-102. I think the team is playing a lot better as of late, and that they will eventually turn it around. But there's just no reason to expect them to beat the Warriors. Hopefully they prove me wrong.