Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (5-18) vs. Golden State Warriors (16-9)
When? 7 p.m.
Where? Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy Blog: Golden State of Mind
Cavs injuries: Kevin Love (Foot - Out), Sam Dekker (Ankle - Out), J.R. Smith (Not With Team), David Nwaba (Knee - Out), Ante Zizic (Knee - Out)
Warriors injuries: DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles - Out), Draymond Green (Toe - Out), Alfonzo McKinnie (Foot - Out)
The Warriors have had a weird season amidst the drama regarding Kevin Durant’s (perhaps) eventual exit. Yet, after being ravaged by injuries early in the year, miserable at times on the court, they sit at seven games over .500. Ultimately, the noise around the Warriors struggles will always be louder than the functional reality of what they’re doing on the court. This could get ugly.
Keys to the game
- Do the Warriors still care? How much ill will do the Warriors still have towards the Cavaliers? If they want, they could really revel in embarrassing the Cavs in Cleveland. Anthony Slater wrote a retrospective on the now-dead Cavs-Warriors rivalry and asked most of the players about it — the Warriors might come in excited to hurt some feelings, and that could make this uglier than it was already going to be.
The point guard carousel continues. A reality of playing in the NBA is that on any given night, you’re going to be playing an excellent point guard. Collin Sexton will draw Steph Curry or Klay Thompson tonight, and for a player who’s struggled to navigate screens without giving up too much space this season, that feels like a recipe for disaster. The Warriors are also incredibly smart on defense, so driving lanes will dry up quickly. Expect a tough outing for the Cavs rookie.
Tristan Back?. Tristan Thompson is one of the few Cavs holdovers that has traditionally played really well against the Warriors when he’s completely healthy. He’s going to need to be a switchy, board-crashing monster if the Cavs are even going to stay in this one.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavaliers are 11-point underdogs at home tonight. They won’t cover. Warriors 137, Cavaliers 111.