|David Lee, PF 35 MIN | 13-20 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 29 PTS | -3
David Lee is easily the Warriors most consistent player on both ends of the floor. With Stephen Curry out, David Lee has proved he can score in multiple ways. Pump fakes and drives, back to the basket and spot up shots were all shown in Cleveland tonight. Unlike other games where Lee has faded in the 4th quarter, Lee was dominant on both ends of the floor in the 4th. His impressive stat line is one thing, but carrying his team to victory is something not seen in the box score.
|Dorell Wright, SF 23 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | 0
Dorell was aggressive early as he drove quickly to the hole on the Warriors very first possession. Dorell was his usual self on the defensive end with rebounds and pressure on Casspi and Jamison. Coach Jackson preferred Dominic McGuire and Brandon Rush in the second half as the starters as a whole were struggling. While his stat lines won’t show it yet Dorell is slowly regaining his 2010 form.
|Andris Biedrins, C 23 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +18
Andris was once again playing his usual role of the Invisible Man as he was subbed out for Ekpe Udoh rather quickly into the game. Varejao and Erdin easily got the best of both Warriors centers this game. Both Biedrins and Udoh were statues on the offensive en d. Biedrins did manage to grab some key rebounds in the 4th quarter however that gave the Warriors extra possessions. The Biedrins/Udoh platoon is surely not highlight material, but they’re not asked to be one either.
|Monta Ellis, SG 32 MIN | 2-12 FG | 6-8 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +3
Monta was cold early and often as the Cavs pressured him constantly with warranted double teams. As a result, Monta reverted to feeding others by driving and kicking out to open shooters. He started 0-6 and didn’t get his basket until 3:21 left in the half. Monta was subject to Coach Jackson’s massive subs in the 2nd half. Only 2-12 with 10 points in the game, Monta was a game manager instead of his usual game changer mentality.
|Charles Jenkins, G 12 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -7
Jenkins was issued the toughest task of the night: guarding rookie star Kyrie Irving. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Jenkins got injured in the 1st quarter. Jenkins returned in the 2nd half and played significant minutes with the starters on the bench. Jenkins forced Irving into missing shots and Jenkins pressured him into some turnovers. Jenkins has also showed the ability to hit a consistent jumper to add to his already aggressive offensive repertoire.
Three Things We Saw
- The Cavaliers are no pushovers. The 26 game losing streak that haunted them last season is long gone and the Cavs are building a good young core. Kyrie Irving is playing like a top 5 point guard right now and is the new face of the franchise. Combine Irving and promising big man Tristan Thompson and you have a good beginning to a long rebuilding process.
- The Warriors forced Cleveland into 23 turnovers. Contributions from both the bench and the starters were evident in this department. Active hands, great rotations and a belief in Coach Jackson’s system has drastically improved the Warriors defense this season. In this shortened season there is very little practice time, so it’s important and impressive to see these changes in-game.
- It sounds simple but when the bench plays like they did tonight the Warriors will always have a chance to win. Nate Robinson has become the clear leader coming off the bench and has proven to be a very reliable shooter from beyond the arc (3-5). Klay Thompson played well also, shooting a perfect 4-4 from three point range. While Dominic McGuire is a liability on the offensive end his defensive presence is a welcome sight for the Warriors. Brandon Rush has also proven to be a well-rounded scorer and defender, a great asset to have coming off the bench.
Grades by Jordan Ramirez