The Cleveland Cavaliers are the best team in the Eastern Conference with a 18-7 record. The Golden State Warriors put together the best start in league history, winning their first 24 games. They are 26-1 and appear to be even better than the team that beat Cleveland in June to win the NBA championship. The showcase game this time around is a rematch of the NBA Finals from last season, as the Golden State Warriors play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors is scheduled for Friday, December 25, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. ET at Oracle Arena. The game will be broadcast on ABC.
The Cleveland Cavaliers has held opponents to an average of just 96 points per contest, good for third in the NBA. They are scoring a solid 101.6 per game which is 13th and well below the 103.1 points it racked up a season ago. Cleveland proved in the Finals that, even shorthanded, it could slow down the Warriors offense. With point guard Kyrie Irving back in the lineup, Cleveland will have three elite offensive players who can touch and score the ball on any possession. This should help contribute to more open looks, especially from the outside, and better assist rates. Cleveland is at full strength for the first time this season, except that Mo Williams has a thumb injury which could keep him out through the end of the calendar year. With Irving’s elite shooting ability from deep should lift the Cavaliers into another realm, but perhaps not good enough to hang with the Warriors over the course of a this season.
The Golden State Warriors were definitively the better of these two teams last year in the NBA Finals, and though Cleveland is a lot healthier now, Golden State still has the advantage. Shooting guard Klay Thompson has scored 70 points in the last two games. Stephen Curry has just continued his torrid pace with nine straight games of at least 25 points. These two basketball players already have 211 threes in just 25 games between them this season, and the Cavaliers aren’t going to be able to move out to the perimeter to slow things down.