Usually making their last visit to Oracle in June, the Cleveland Cavaliers head to the Bay Area to take on the defending champion Warriors.
Although Friday won’t have the same implications these two teams are used to, don’t tell that to Cleveland.
The Cavaliers sit at (19-60) as they get ready to play in a very familiar place. The Cavaliers organization has some very fond memories of playing in Oracle Arena, the same building Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought was ended.
Once LeBron James left for Los Angeles, the rivalry with Golden State left with him. In their first meeting this season, the Warriors left Quicken Loans Arena with a 129-105 victory.
The Warriors were lead by none other than, Steph Curry, who scored a game-high 42 points. The Golden State superstar knocked down nine threes, as the Warriors never really gave Cleveland a chance.
Friday night however, both teams will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. The Cavaliers have lost seven straight dating back to their 107-102 win over the East leading Milwaukee Bucks.
Cleveland will be playing without Kevin Love who is expected to be done this season with a sore left shoulder.
With Love out, Cleveland turned to Ante Zizic and Larry Nance Jr. on the frontline. Thursday night against Sacramento Kings, both Cavs big men recorded double-doubles.
Zizic finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Nance Jr. added 11 points and 16 rebounds.
Golden State will be without DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala Friday as they will both sit out the second night of the back-to back.
While the Warriors prepare for another deep playoff run, the Cavs are looking towards their future. One of the core pieces to Cleveland’s future is rookie Collin Sexton.
The Cavaliers youngster has improved each month of the season, after getting off to somewhat of a slow start.
Earlier this week Sexton opened up about his personal goal of being on NBA All-Rookie first-team.
“That was one of my goals.” Sexton told reporters.
“Would mean a lot. A tremendous accomplishment because there’s only five. It just shows all the hard work you’ve p7ut in the entire season.”
The eighth overall pick has himself quite the case to be honored by the league. Sexton (1,301) ranks third for rookies in points behind Luka Doncic (1,505) and Trae Young (1,504.)
This season Sexton has established himself as one of the better young scorers in the league, but has also found himself top-five for rookies in terms of season assists.