The Cleveland Cavaliers (3-5) battle the Golden State Warriors (6-3) this Saturday (11/11/23). Get Cavaliers vs. Warriors moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction
Cleveland’s physical defense is currently holding opponents to the worst shot quality on finishes at the rim (per ShotQuality) and owns the top pick-and-roll handler defense in terms of opponent points per possession. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are snuffing out paint attempts and closing driving lanes; however, the Cavaliers have struggled against three-point shooters. They rank 19th defending catch-and-shoot threes and 19th defending off-screen attempts based on opponent shot quality. Therefore, Golden State’s unconventional motion offense isn’t exactly an ideal matchup for Cleveland.
Stephen Curry is playing the best basketball of his career at the moment. He’s averaging 30 points on historic 51/47/92 shooting splits and owns a jaw-dropping 71.6 true shooting percentage. Only five players in NBA history have breached the 70 mark across an entire season, and Nikola Jokic was the sole player to crack 20 points at 24.5 PPG. Factor in Klay Thompson’s elite motion shooting, and Golden State should bury Cleveland under a barrage of three-pointers. The Warriors’ free-flowing transition offense can also take advantage of a Cavaliers defense that ranks 16th in transition defense (per ShotQuality).
Evan Mobley’s ability to blanket scoring forwards is a fundamental pillar of Cleveland’s defense; however, Draymond Green won’t grant him the pleasure. Green is a non-scorer who sets screens and frequently initiates the action as a playmaker. Therefore, Mobley’s skill set is essentially wasted because Green’s role will be as a passer finding the open shooter.
On the other end, Cleveland runs a heavy pick-and-roll offense with plenty of cuts to punish ball-watchers. Donovan Mitchell has been highly successful in this system to the tune of 30.7 PPG, but Cleveland is 25th in Offensive Rating due to a lack of off-ball shooting. They collectively possess a putrid 32.2 3PT% and rank dead last in pace adjusted wide open three-point attempts per game. With two non-shooters on the court in Mobley and Allen, the Cavaliers are already at a disadvantage, so the current shooting slump is killing them.
Cleveland simply won’t have the offense to keep pace with Golden State’s three-point barrage unless they are highly efficient inside the arc. Given Green’s elite pick-and-roll defense and Looney’s physicality against Allen, that doesn’t seem likely. Plus, the Warriors can throw Gary Payton II’s stifling perimeter defense at either Mitchell or Garland to slow them down.
Overall, the Warriors are a terrible matchup for the Cavaliers and should comfortably prevail here. Golden State also plays far better at home, which only increases my confidence in them. Take the Warriors to triumph in this matchup.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction: Warriors -4 and Moneyline
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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors Best Odds
The Warriors are favored by four points and hold home-court advantage. Cleveland needs to win this game roughly 40 percent of the time for their +148 moneyline to be a profitable bet in the long run. It’s worth noting that the Warriors have won nine of the last ten matchups since LeBron James departed for Los Angeles. Golden State is 2-1 versus Clevaland in the Donovan Mitchell era.
Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors Injuries
Isaac Okoro, Ty Jerome, Sam Merrill, and Ricky Rubio will all miss this contest for Cleveland. Golden State, on the other hand, owns a clean injury report and will be at full strength.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors Key Matchups
Caris LeVert (18.3 PPG) is a dangerous scorer off the bench, but he’s the only shot-creator in Cleveland’s second unit. Georges Niang and Dean Wade provide little outside of spot-up shooting and rebounding. Tristan Thompson is solely a rebounder and put-back scorer. Overall, the unit lacks offensive juice, especially with Niang and Wade stuck in a shooting slump.
Meanwhile, Golden State’s bench is riddled with intriguing pieces. Chris Paul (7.3 APG) remains a crafty veteran that can orchestrate the offense, and Dario Saric gives them passing from the block too. Payton II, Moody, and Saric can all knock down shots from deep, while Jonathan Kuminga’s slashing balances the shot profile. Rookies Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis have also been impressive too.
Golden State’s bench should trample Cleveland and inflate their lead.
Isaac Okoro’s Injury
Per Basketball Index’s metrics last season, Okoro ranked 10th in Off-Ball Chaser Defense and 14th in Perimeter Isolation Defense. He would have been a massive chess piece for Cleveland against Thompson and Curry, so his injury is a crushing blow. Without Okoro, the “Splash Brothers” will eviscerate Cleveland via off-ball screens and dominate on catch-and-shoot threes.