The Cleveland Cavaliers will be playing their fifth game in eight days as they conclude their west coast road trip. They will be facing a familiar foe in the Golden State Warriors, the once world renowned rivalry has since changed dramatically.
How to watch:
Tipoff is at 10 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Go and NBA League Pass
It is possible that Andre Drummond needed rest on Sunday, but considering the trade/buyout speculation surrounding him, it seems fair to assume he won’t start on Monday. Jarrett Allen posted a double-double in Sunday night’s loss in Drummond’s absence, as one of the lone bright spots from the game. The young trio of Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro are shoe ins for the starting lineup when healthy. Taurean Prince seemed like a hidden gem in the trade for Allen, but he has struggled mightily the last two games, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cedi Osman inserted into the starting lineup to shake things up. The Cavs need something to end their seven-game losing streak, as the Sexton 42-special against the Nets seems like a lifetime ago.
Cavs: Darius Garland / Collin Sexton / Isaac Okoro / Taurean Prince / Jarrett Allen
Warriors: Stephen Curry / Kelly Oubre / Juan Toscano-Anderson / Andrew Wiggins / Draymond Green
Things to watch for:
· Andre Drummond Watch: Drummond missed the Clippers game on Sunday because of rest, but speculation regarding his absence has gone rampant. Considering the Cavs have a back-to-back, and it is common for players to rest in that situation, it is possible that he simply needed a game off. But where is the fun in that? The Cavs last back-to-back was against Milwaukee and Drummond played in both games, and ever since the Allen trade, his energy level has not been quite the same. There will not be a day that goes by where there aren’t rumors surrounding Drummond and his future, as the anticipation continues to build.
· 3-point attempts: The Cavs have been dreadful shooting from three-point range and there is no other way to put it. They post a 34% from three as a team, which ranks 28th in the NBA. It seems head coach, J.B. Bickerstaff, isn’t thrilled by the idea of his guards chucking up three’s and wants to focus on attacking the rim. That is essentially what Sexton thrives in with his speed and ability to run downhill. But the NBA has shifted towards shooting and Garland and Sexton are more than capable of knocking down three’s at a high rate. They both are above 40% from three and should be each taking a minimum of eight threes per game.
· Who is guarding Stephen Curry: This Warriors team is very different from the glory days of 2015-2019, but there is one constant on the team. His name is Stephen Curry, and guarding him is a daunting task. The Cavs have blanketed opposing star perimeter players with Okoro, but this idea seems less than ideal when it comes to guarding Curry. Granted, Garland or Sexton might be so inclined to run around and chase Curry all game, but they may not be equipped to do so. This could wear them down and effect their offense, and the Cavs desperately need to head back home with some momentum, so all signs point to Okoro taking on the challenge of guarding Curry.