The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors tonight, starting at 10:30 PM out in California. The Cavs are coming off their upset win against the Suns and take on another big time Western Conference opponent in the Warriors. The Warriors currently sit in 6th place with a record of 41-25 while the Cavs are in 11th place in the East, 4 games back of the 8th playoff spot with an almost exact opposite record of 25-40. A few things to watch for tonight:
Pick a Shooter
The Cavaliers give up three point shots like they are layups and tonight face a team with two amazing shooters in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They may struggle to contain either of these players but have to try to pick one to take out of the game, or at least a half and then switch to the other in the second half. Either way the Cavs will have to stay close to both players and trust the rest of their teammates to cover their players as well.
Pick and Roll
Connected to the above is how the Cavs choose to play the pick and roll. Do they continue to sag back into the paint so that the roll man doesn’t beat them in the middle of the floor or do they hedge hard causing rotation in the defense. Either version could allow for open shooters and could depend on who is running the pick and roll. The Cavs may have to live with David Lee and Andrew Bogut beating them inside to keep the shooters from unloading from deep.
The Warriors are not known for strong defense but with Andre Iguodala and Bogut they do have 2 stout defenders. Will the Cavs keep the ball movement offense they have been implementing since Spencer Hawes came over or will Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters try to get into a shoot out with the Warriors and prove their worth. One of those styles is entertaining, the other leads to wins.
What are you looking for in tonight’s game? Do you give the team a chance?