Golden State Warriors v. Cleveland Cavaliers: Can the Dubs bounce back?

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 23: Klay Thompson
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 23: Klay Thompson /

The Golden State Warriors will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day at Oracle Arena. Here’s everything you need to know!

Showcasing what is universally considered to be the most entertaining, modern-day rivalry professional basketball has to offer, the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors will play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas day.

The Cavs currently hold the third seed in the Eastern Conference with a win/loss record of 24-9. The Dubs, on the other hand, sport a 26-7 record, which slots them at the second seed in the Western Conference.

The difference, however, is that the Warriors are coming off an incredibly disappointing 81-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets, whereas the Cavs are looking to extend their current win streak to two games following a 3-point victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Both teams are unfortunately suffering from significant injuries in each of their respective backcourts, so by no means should this game be considered primer for the upcoming NBA Finals this summer.

Nevertheless, there’s no other game today that has more mental or emotional weight attached to it. If the Warriors can come out of this afternoon’s game victorious, this is the perfect way for them to bounce back and start off a new win streak.

Game Details

Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Tip-Off: Monday, December 25, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. PST

Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA

TV: NBC Sports Bay Area, ABC

Radio: 95.7 The Game, Warriors Radio Network, ESPNR

Projected Starting Lineups

Cleveland Cavaliers

PG: Jose Calderon

SG: Jae Crowder

SF: LeBron James

PF: Kevin Love

C: Channing Frye

Head Coach: Tyronn Lue

Golden State Warriors

PG: Patrick McCaw

SG: Klay Thompson

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Draymond Green

C: Jordan Bell

Head Coach: Steve Kerr

Injury Report

GSW: Shaun Livingston (sore right knee) is considered probable, as is Kevon Looney (gluteal strain and Zaza Pachulia (left shoulder soreness). Stephen Curry is out with a sprained right ankle.

CLE: Derrick Rose (left ankle sprain), Iman Shumpert (left knee surgery) and Isaiah Thomas (right hip) are all listed out for the Cavs.

Next: Top 3 plays from comeback win vs. Pelicans

Keys to the Game

The Cavs currently rank 23rd in the NBA in rebounding (41.4 RPG), so it’s extremely important that the Warriors take advantage and work to maximize Golden State’s number of possessions. One of the main keys of every game is to win the battle of the boards, and this game is no different.

The Cavs also rank just 16th in pace (98.98). Judging from how terrible their offense was against Denver, the Dubs would benefit from keeping the tempo fast, forcing the Cavs to adjust to Oracle’s rhythm rather than the other way around.

Plus there’s that one guy named LeBron; if Golden State can limit his passing ability and keep him from having a dominate, versatile game, the Dubs should be able to pull this win off comfortably — that is, as long as the Warriors have solved their offensive problems from the last game.

(All game information provided via Warriors PR)