Jim Barnett previews Cavs-Warriors, Part II on MLK day

The Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors game is drawing near and we invited Jim Barnett onto the radio to talk about it. Here’s a link to the interview with Barnett on 95.7-FM The Game.

Among the topics discussed:

–Is Kyrie Irving the Warriors’ kryptonite? Irving, of course, has hit two monster shots in the past two games against the Warriors — one in Game 7 of the NBA Finals and another down the stretch of the Cavs’ Christmas Day win.

Barnett, though, believes the Warriors have to be more physical with Irving — and also to not allow Irving to be as physical with Stephen Curry. It’s pretty obvious that the more physical the game, the more it benefits the Cavaliers; and the closer the game is called, the more it helps the Warriors.

–Curry’s role has changed since Christmas. In that game — a 109-108 Cleveland win — Curry took just 11 shots from the floor, and afterward he said, in essence, that was unacceptable. And he made sure it wouldn’t stand. Since that game, Curry has been significantly more assertive … for example, Curry’s taken 21 or more shots in four of the past five games.

–Another issue was whether the Cavaliers are in the heads of the Golden State Warriors, whom they’ve now defeated four straight games. Despite LeBron James saying this wasn’t a rivalry, it seems apparent it is. And, in fact, it may be one of the biggest rivalries in NBA history.

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About Steinmetz

Matt Steinmetz is a veteran San Francisco Bay Area sports journalist. He covered the Golden State Warriors for Bay Area News Group for more than a decade before becoming a television analyst with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Steinmetz currently co-hosts the "Warriors WrapUp" show and "NBA This Week" on 95.7-FM The Game, the franchise's flagship station, in San Francisco. He also co-hosts the Sal and Steiny podcast.
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