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Game Preview: Cavs @ Warriors


(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

The 8-3 Cleveland Cavaliers will head to San Francisco to take on the 4-7 Golden State Warriors on Friday night in a rematch of the 2015-2018 NBA Finals. The new-look Cavs are suddenly on a two game skid immediately following an eight game win streak, while the defending champion Dubs have struggled out of the gates. The Cavs have appeared fatigued throughout their west coast road trip, while the Warriors may be rusty following a full three days off. The team that overcomes their obstacle and gets off to the faster start could have a big advantage


Game Information:

Matchup: Cavaliers @ Warriors

Location: Chase Center

Time: 10:00 pm ET/7:00 PT

Watch: NBATV or NBA App


Injury Report:

CLE: OUT: Ricky Rubio (knee), Dylan Windler (ankle).


GSW: OUT: Andre Iguodala (hip).

PROBABLE: Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring).


Star Matchup:

Donovan Mitchell: Mitchell emerged as Cleveland's leader and best player immediately this season. With eight games of at least 30 points, he has placed himself firmly in MVP conversations. The Louisville product has often carried the Cavaliers offense this season, as he did with 38 points on 16/28 from the field Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. Look for Mitchell to continue to get his usual volume of touches, if not more, after Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff reiterated the importance of Mitchell time on the ball following blown 13 point lead against the Clippers, which involved Mitchell not getting the ball for the final seven minutes of regulation.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Stephen Curry: Two-time NBA MVP and reigning Finals MVP Steph Curry is playing out of his mind, as usual. The superstar point guard is putting up over 32 points per game on 51% shooting, as well as picking up seven rebounds, seven assist, and a steal. Curry has been impossible to guard for years, and this year is no different. He punctuated his ridiculous start to the season by dropping 47 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists during Golden State's last game, against the Kings. Slowing down Curry, at least to some degree, will be pivotal for the Cavs.



X-Factors:

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Isaac Okoro: The fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft was competing for the Cavs starting small forward spot in training camp, but was ultimately beaten out by Caris LeVert. Unfortunately for Okoro, he not only lost the starting job, but has played very sparingly so far this season. His usage has been very inconsistent, but he's averaged about 14 minutes per game, The Warriors present a great opportunity for a defensive minded player like Okoro to see extended minutes, though, as their leading scorer outside of Curry is All-Star wing Andrew Wiggins. Okoro's versatility on defense is beneficial on a team with multiple reliable scorers like Golden State, especially when he can match up with one directly across from him at small forward. If Okoro can force Klay Thompson or Jordan Poole to step up, it'll be advantage Cleveland.


Jordan Poole: After playing the role of underdog breakout player perfectly in 2021-2022, Jordan Poole hasn't looked like himself in the early stages of the Warriors repeat title efforts. His shooting efficiency is extremely concerning, with his field goal percentage down 40 points, and his 3 point percentage by 60. He's also turning the ball over more than ever, and appears to be lacking confidence at times. Poole has earned the benefit of the doubt though, and should still be expected to be able to turn things around soon, now that he permanently has the reigns of the second unit. So far Poole has been a liability, but if he hits a couple shots and the Poole Party gets started, good luck stopping Golden State.


Prediction:

Conditioning and rest may very well make the difference in this matchup. The Cavaliers are playing their fourth game in six days to close out a west coast trip, while the Warriors are playing on a full three days rest. Cleveland's All-Star frontcourt should dominate Kevon Looney and company, but Donovan Mitchell can only carry the load he's been carrying for so long, and the Cavs legs will give out eventually, while the Warriors look like a rejuvenated unit after their mini-bye. Jordan Poole will put up 25 or more to get back his season back on track.


Final Score: Cavaliers: 102 | Warriors: 120


Be sure to follow along on Twitter @Cavs_District for in game updates, live reactions, team stats, and more!

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