For the 24th time in the past four seasons, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will do battle Monday. It continues to be among the most talked about rivalry games of the regular season, having taken place on Christmas each of the past three seasons.
Now, the two will do battle on a day honoring the single most powerful civil rights figure in the history of this nation. To say the NBA is pimping this unlike any other game this year would be an understatement.
And it looks like Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is buying into the hype. In talking to reporters prior to the game, Kerr compared the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry to that of the Celtics and Lakers back in the 1980s.
Steve Kerr on if this game has lost any luster: “Not for us. This is Lakers-Celtics in the 80s. … This is still one of the games of the year.”
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 15, 2018
While that’s a pretty big comparison right there, it does make sense. Cleveland and Golden State have met in the Finals each of the past three seasons, with the latter coming out on top twice. The Lakers and Celtics met three times in the Finals back in the 1980s and another two times in the 2000s. Prior to that, those two storied franchises took on one another in the Finals seven times in the 1950s and 1960s.
Sure the Warriors and Cavaliers have a long way to go here. But the comparison to that 1980s rivalry is real. The petty is also seemingly on the same level.
Golden State boasts an NBA-best 35-9 record and has won a franchise record 12 consecutive road dates heading into the game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. For their part, the Cavaliers are 26-16 on the season and have lost their past three games by a combined 64 points. Despite this, we’re expecting a pretty good game here.