Golden State Warriors: Cavaliers matchup far from meaningless

Perhaps we're a little biased, but of those five Christmas Day games, none comes close to generating the degree of excitement that Warriors-Cavs Pt. III does.

In Atlanta, Dennis Schroder matched his career high with 33 points, including 27 in the second half, to help the Hawks beat Dallas in a matchup of last-place teams. This year, however, neither team seems almost as interested.

Coming off a tremendous defensive effort in a 102-85 win at Portland on Friday, the Nuggets were even better less than 24 hours later, harassing Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson into a combined 12-of-38 shooting, including one of 15 on three-pointers. Wade's 10 wins on Christmas are the most in National Basketball Association history. In an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke, Golden State's head coach Steve Kerr finalized this disappointment, saying that playing Curry for the sake of the game's perceived importance-while he hasn't even practiced in full contact scrimmages- would be "completely irresponsible". They played exceptionally well past year in the Finals. See how they react to the game. While former MVP Stephen Curry will be out for the game, the return of all-star point guard Isaiah Thomas has been further delayed. And while the Warriors' changes weren't so drastic, the Cavaliers made a couple of moves that caught some people by surprise.

That particular game could be vital for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Previous year the Cavs defeated the Warriors 109-108 in the Christmas Day showdown, while the Warriors won the 2015 edition 89-83.

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This new formula included guys that are excellent perimeter defenders and have playoff experience, in order to increase Cleveland's chances against the big offensive 3 of Kevin Durant Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, who are all more than capable to drop 30 points with their shooting. The first half, we're complaining to the refs most of the half. Both teams look strong, even Golden State without Curry; Cleveland can't bank on Golden State to shoot under 15% from three point range come Monday afternoon. King James is now playing the best basketball of his entire career while closing in at 33 years of age.

In Indianapolis, Victor Oladipo scored 38 points and was flawless from the free-throw line, helping the Pacers escape with a victory over Brooklyn.

The Warriors, winners in 11 straight games, have dealt with several injuries this season, but they seem to be getting healthy. But obviously, this is a new format, this is a new team for us.

The Warriors have coped admirably since two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Curry sprained his right ankle on December 4. They were the better team. Curry has been progressing in his rehab and he's starting to do more on-court work.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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