Golden State Warriors (3-6) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (7-3)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
7:00 PM EST
The Cleveland Cavaliers come into this game riding a nice little hot streak. They’ve won 4 straight and 7 of 8 as they get ready to host the Golden State Warriors. At one point we thought this would be a chance for the Cavaliers to get an up close and personal look at Stephen Jackson as the two team were working on a trade. Instead, the Warriors have already traded Captain Jack, and it wasn’t to the Cavaliers, but to the Bobcats. In his stead, the Warriors received a couple of decent and serviceable players in Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic, but the big prize was getting out from under the atrocious contract they gave Jackson.
The Cavaliers are kicking off their 2nd stretch of 4 games in 5 nights already this season, and the Warriors will ideally be a nice way to ease into it before hitting the road to Washington tomorrow night. At 3-6, the Warriors were already struggling before trading away Jackson, particularly with injuries to 4 of their best players. The Warriors will be extremely shorthanded in this game, and it will give the Cavaliers a chance to further rest Shaq. There are worse ways to start a 4-in-5-nights stretch than this.
Projected Starting Lineups
Golden State Warriors:
-G Monta Ellis (19.3 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.8 spg, 15.92 PER)
-G Stephen Curry (8.3 ppg, 4.4 apg, .467 3P%, 11.69 PER)
-F Anthony Morrow (11.2 ppg, 0.9 apg, .533 3P%, 12.99 PER)
-F Vladimir Radmanovic (4.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.9 apg, 8.90 PER)
-C Mikki Moore (3.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 9.00 PER)
Key Reserves: Corey Maggette, Anthony Randolph
Injuries: Brendan Wright (out), Kelenna Azubuike (out), Andris Biedrins (out), CJ Watson (out), Ronny Turiaf (out), Devean George (out)
-G Mo Williams (18.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 17.36 PER)
-G Anthony Parker (9.0 ppg, 1.9 apg, .595 3P%, 9.83 PER)
-F LeBron James (27.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 7.6 apg, 30.45 PER)
-F JJ Hickson (5.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.1 bpg, 11.69 PER)
-C Zydrunas Ilgauskas (6.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 9.88 PER)
Key Reserves: Anderson Varejao, Delonte West, Daniel Gibson, Jamario Moon
Injuries: Shaquille O’Neal (doubtful), Delonte West (probable), Leon Powe (out)
- Mon, Jan 11 at Golden State
This game will feature strength on strength, as the Golden State Warriors come into this game as the best team in the NBA in fastbreak points (23.6 ppg) while the Cavaliers are first in fastbreak points against (9.1 ppg). This contrasting style of opponents would normally make for a great game, but with the Warriors only playing 7 guys tonight, you have to wonder if they can really sustain their tempo for an entire game.
The Cavaliers are expected to have Delonte West active, which will be a nice boost. This is purely speculation here, but I somewhat find myself wondering if being rumored to be included in a trade to Golden State provided some motivation for Delonte to get himself back in the team’s good graces. Again, that is pure conjecture as I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. All I know is that Brian Windhorst reported that Delonte has had a good couple days now and the Cavaliers are hopeful he has gained some “positive momentum”. Whether the catalyst for that was the trade rumor is unknown, but I’ll admit the thought popped into my head.
With Shaq out, Big Z will get the start, but Z is just an awful match for the Warriors. I would expect to see a lot of Andy and JJ on the floor together, and this could even be a game where we see Darnell Jackson get some burn. The Warriors don’t play a lick of defense, and with Stephen Jackson they still gave up 55 points to Brandon Jennings last week, which makes you wonder what LeBron and Mo can do now that the Warriors are without their best perimeter defender.
Monta Ellis is still an exceptional playmaker, and Stephen Curry is a dangerous shooter. Corey Maggette, who is coming off the bench, is having an outstanding season so far and the team will likely lean on him a lot to make plays against the Cavaliers. Without Biedrins and Wright, the Warriors have no inside presence other than Anthony Randolph and all of their offense will have to be generated from the perimeter, which is further reason it will be good to have Delonte back, if he’s able to play tonight.
This is going to be a strange game. It somewhat reminds me of when the Cavaliers beat the Wizards a couple years ago with only 6 guys after making the big trade. The Cavaliers had no identity that night, but they did have LeBron setting up plays and Damon Jones knocking down shots. If the Cavaliers are off tonight, and Ellis and Maggette can setup plays while Curry knocks down shots, the Warriors can give themselves somewhat of a chance. Otherwise, the Cavaliers should be able to take care of business in this game.
Next Game For The Cavaliers
Wednesday, November 18, s009
7:00 PM EST
Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards