Golden State (37-4) at Cleveland (28-10)
When: Monday, January 18th 2016
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: TNT
The Golden State Warriors will make their first trip back to Cleveland since clinching the NBA Title there on June 16th. The Warriors are not playing their best basketball right having lost two of their last three, but still own a 37-4 record on the season. Center Andrew Bogut addressed the media after Saturday’s loss in Detroit and said, “We need to pick it up, pick up our intensity and get our defense better.” Motivation should be easy to find tonight when Golden State takes on the East’s best. The Warriors started a tough three-game road trip with a 113-95 loss at Detroit over the weekend. Harrison Barnes made his return to the starting lineup after easing his way back into the rotation off the bench, but he and Draymond Green each finished with just five points on 3-of-18 combined shooting from the field. Steph Curry was one of just three Warriors to score in double-digits as he led the team with 38 points and has now hit at least four three-pointers in his last eight games. There certainly shouldn’t be any panic in this Golden State team, but would love to come back home by taking two of three on this road trip. They’ll play at Chicago on Wednesday.
Cleveland is red-hot right now winning nine of their last ten and completing a 5-1 road trip with their only loss being at San Antonio 99-95 on Thursday night. The bounced back the next night with a convincing 91-77 win at Houston. Guard Kyrie Irving is working his way back into the lineup nicely as he poured in 23 points to lead the team against the Rockets. Kevin Love had eleven points and 13 rebounds for his fourth-straight double-double and had 18 rebounds against Golden State on Christmas Day. The Cavaliers lost that game 89-83, but kept it close the whole way through. It was just Irving’s third game back that day and he will certainly be ready after he missed most of the Finals last year against the Warriors. This game really means nothing as far as the standings go as both teams will be favored to get back to the Finals, but Cleveland really wants to prove that they can beat this Golden State team when they’re healthy.
It’s hard to believe that Golden State is getting points in any game, but tonight is the case. The only other time they’ll be dogs is when they visit San Antonio. This should be a fun game and I believe Golden State will come out with more intensity then we’ve seen from them in the last few weeks. I’ll take the points in this game.
Pick: Warriors +3