The most highly anticipated match up on Christmas Day is almost upon us. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will play on Christmas Day once again.
However, this time, Warriors star Stephen Curry will be out with a sprained right ankle.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Curry is 99.9 percent likely to be out vs. the Cavs.
Steve Kerr said Steph Curry is 99.9% not going to play on Christmas Day. Kerr would not definitively rule Curry out. But he said even if Curry comes in that day and says he's feeling great, Kerr called it "irresponsible" if he plays Curry on Christmas. https://t.co/g2QMAtAb7f
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) December 23, 2017
However, Warriors star Draymond Green returned back to action last night vs. the Lakers, and will most likely play on Christmas Day.
Even with Curry out, fans will still get to see LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant and Kevin Love vs. Draymond Green.
The Warriors have been on a role, even with Curry out, the team has won 11 straight, and are now in first place in the Western Conference.
The Cavs also have been on a role since starting the season 5-7, winning 19 of the last 21 games, even with their star point guard Isaiah Thomas who has been out dealing with a hip injury.
Thomas is expected to be back very soon, could happen within the next two weeks, but he is out against the Warriors on Monday.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com says J.R. Smith, who missed Thursday’s action against the Chicago Bulls will play Monday against the Warriors.
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) December 23, 2017
The Cavs will likely have a lineup of Jose Calderon, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Jae Crowder and Kevin Love against the Warriors.
Some crazy stats via Vardon’s article.
In the meantime, a crazy Christmas stat for you. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, best friends who reunited on the Cavs this season and were teammates for four seasons in Miami, have the exact same amount of points (301) and assists (76) in Christmas games — which ties them for third all time in each category.
James has played on Christmas 11 times and Wade 12. Wade’s 10 wins on Christmas are the most in NBA history.
This will be the Cavs biggest test of the season so far. It will be interesting to see what percentage from three the Warriors shoot from the game, as the Cavs are one of the worst in the league in guarding the three.
That is the main thing to watch on Monday, of how well the Cavs defend the three point line because at some point during this season so far, a team, even if they don’t shoot well from three, has shot lights out from three against the Cavs.
For the last two things to watch out during the game, is the Cavs second unit and the matchup between James and Durant.
Everyone has said even if the Cavs bench is producing well now, it won’t matter when they face the Warriors. It is time for the second unit to prove they can help take down the Warriors.
The Cavs will then face the Warriors at home a couple weeks later on Jan. 15, this time, in Cleveland.