The Golden State Warriors get to come back home tonight against the road-weary Cleveland Cavaliers. I’m sure they’re glad to be back with a chance to wash the awful taste of a road loss to the lowly Sacramento Kings out of their mouths. Golden State, and Stephen Curry in particular, couldn’t knock down shots against the Kings in a 94-92 defeat on Monday.
Cleveland comes in at 2-2 looking to continue the momentum they created by beating the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Apparently, the Clippers are big fans of dropping games at home lately.
From a matchup perspective, the Warriors are a bigger, deeper team—especially up front. But all eyes will be on the backcourt, where Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will square off against rookie Dion Waiters and superstar-in-the-making Kyrie Irving. Irving is essentially the next best thing to the Clippers Chris Paul, so by that logic, he’ll shoot somewhere around 17 free throws tonight as Stephen Curry and his teammates struggle to defend without fouling. He’s not quite Paul, who shot even more free throws than that when the Dubs notched a win in L.A., but Irving’s pretty darn close.
Dion Waiters, selected three slots ahead of Harrison Barnes has had an up-and-down performance so far, but did combine with Irving to score 52 points against the Clippers.
Going forward, I’m through predicting outcomes after the debacle in Sacramento, but the Warriors are the superior team, top to bottom, here.
Keep an eye on the health of David Lee and Jarrett Jack, who both missed shootaround today with matching cases of the flu. They’re going to be game-time decisions. Without the two of them, Carl Landry is likely to start and Charles Jenkins would play behind Curry at the point. For Landry, who had his first poor performance of the season in Sacramento, a big dose of minutes might be just the thing for him.
Curry, who has now had two atrocious shooting performances on the season, will look to bounce back from his ugly night against the Kings. Klay Thompson, who rimmed out more shots than I can ever remember seeing in a single game, should have a big night against the smaller, less experienced Waiters.
Prediction: There will be a basketball game tonight.