Though the Warriors won both regular-season meetings with the Cavaliers, their victories carry minimal significance. Both matchups came before the trade deadline, on Dec. 25 and Jan. 15, so Golden State has yet to get a taste of Cleveland’s renovated roster.
George Hill provides more defensive resistance than Isaiah Thomas (who only played in the Jan. 15 affair) and Jose Calderon (out of the rotation). Dwyane Wade no longer eats into Kyle Korver’s playing time. Tristan Thompson is moving like an actual NBA player again. Larry Nance Jr., while inconsistently deployed, adds a layer of switchy rim protection.
Cleveland’s Starting Five: George Hill, Jeff Green, LeBron James, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith
Cleveland’s Reserves: Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, Kyle Korver, Larry Nance Jr., Tristan Thompson
Golden State’s Starting Five: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson
Golden State’s Reserves: Jordan Bell, Quinn Cook, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Nick Young
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