Warriors beat LeBron James and the Cavs without Stephen Curry

Warriors beat LeBron James and the Cavs without Stephen Curry on Christmas day.

Good game today and it showed a couple of different things about both the Warriors and the Cavaliers. Three point shooting for golden state warriors is really hurting without Steph mainly because the people tasked with filling that void are either cold from the field and not in rhythm (Nick Young) or hesitant about taking the first look (McCaw). Kevin Durant is starting to really assert himself as the MVP on this squad on both sides of the ball — offense and defense. This is going to be extremely bad news for the rest of the league when Steph comes back. Defensively, the Warriors showed they could defend the rim and close teams out down the stretch — Jordan Bell is shaping up to be another very special player and it will be a joy to watch is game develop further.

The Cleveland Cavaliers can genuinely shoot the three ball now whereas in previous years they only had one or two options. Crowder was a revelation today and when you stack that rotation with Love, Smith, Korver, and Lebron, that’s a pretty potent long distance shooting attack. I do think, however, that against top-tier defenses, that the Cavaliers will miss Kyrie Irving’s ability to get to the rim and finish shots — between their inability to get to the rim and a stifling Warriors’ defense inside the 3-point arc, the Cavs have some work to do. I’m still not sold that Isaiah Thomas will be as effective as Irving was and won’t be until I see him actually do it in a game. I also think that Lebron is playing way too many minutes (40 this game) — they still haven’t figured out a way to keep momentum and give him substantial rests during games. This will eventually come back to bite them…

In spite of the current standings, the Warriors are still the best team in either conference and given the number of injuries they’ve had so far, once they are healthy, they’re going to be a very hard team to beat. I’ll probably rewatch this game again later tonight just to verify what I’d seen earlier but yeah, overall it was a good game.

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