Daily NBA Fix: Champagne Supernova In Cleveland Tonight For Golden State Warriors?

December 25, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30, left) dribbles the basketball against Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) in the fourth quarter of a NBA basketball game on Christmas at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 89-83. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
December 25, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30, left) dribbles the basketball against Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) in the fourth quarter of a NBA basketball game on Christmas at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 89-83. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers face off tonight in a rematch of the NBA Finals, bringing back plenty of nostalgia for the reigning champions.

Depending on your age, feel free to pick some musical accompaniment to Stephen Curry‘s comment on returning to Cleveland as the Goldern State Warriors face off with the Cavaliers for the first time since the NBA Finals.

Curry didn’t mind bragging about how they left the place.

"“Obviously, walking in the locker room, it’ll be good memories,” Curry said on Sunday. “Hopefully, it still smells a little bit like champagne.”"

Thems fightin’ words, for Cleveland at least.

The media and fans have mostly ignored the bravado and cockiness of this Golden State team. After all, they are reigning NBA champions, but this is by far one of the more arrogant things he or the Warriors have said. There isn’t anything wrong with it either, it is just funny when people call this Golden State team humble.

Humble doesn’t stare down the bench. That’s not what the Warriors do. Of course, pride cometh before the fall as well, or after it, as the Warriors have fallen off the pace for 72 wins for the first time this season, and the Cavaliers hope to keep them off track.

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But there are plenty of things that have changed since the NBA Finals and even since their Christmas Day game. It was only Kyrie Irving‘s third game back since his injury in Game 1 of the Finals, and of course, Kevin Love had been back when the season started, but now Cleveland has had nearly a month together to work on getting things sorted.

In that limited run of games in December, the Cavaliers were barely playing high-level basketball with a +2.7 net rating (97.3 offensive rating, 94.6 defensive rating) whereas in January they have a +13.0 net rating (113.4 ORtg/100.4 DRtg), second only to the San Antonio Spurs.

LeBron James is no longer the NBA’s worst shooter outside of the paint, he is back to being much more like the two-time NBA champion we all know.  Kyrie is averaging 17 points and 3.8 assists while Love averages a double-double of 15.9 points and 10.8 rebounds.

Whether it still smells of champagne in the visitor’s locker room, this isn’t the same Cleveland Cavaliers team the Warriors have faced.

These aren’t the same Warriors as last season either; they are better than they were in the playoffs last season. But they aren’t as good as they were through December. I wouldn’t say they are falling back to the back, no, they are still one of the NBA’s best. They still should be arrogant and have all the swagger that has carried them this far as it has served them well.

But if they think this is the same old Cavaliers team they have faced before, they may want to stop getting high off the champagne and get ready for what likely will be one of the harder games they’ve played this season. Hopefully for us it is, and we get a sneak peak at a possible NBA Finals rematch.

Durant Quixote Still Awsome on the Court, But Tilting At Windmills Off It

The Oklahoma City Thunder had no problem taking care of the Miami Heat in a 99-74 victory on Sunday night, and as far as what’s going on the court with the Thunder that was one of the bigger things for them this weekend.

However, Kevin Durant vs. The Media took another turn, but it was mostly a dead end. Before the game, Kevin Durant tried to make amends-of-sorts with the “media,” according to Erik Horne of the Oklahoman.

"“I also have something else to say, if you guys don’t mind. I was talking to Matty earlier and I’ve seen over the last couple days – couple of years, actually – that I hate the media. I actually do love you guys. If I hated someone I wouldn’t talk to them. I wouldn’t interact with them. I wouldn’t laugh and joke with them. I wouldn’t talk with them about anything other than what you guys ask me.“When I disagree, that doesn’t mean that I hate you guys, so … my whole deal is to spark a conversation and hopefully we can talk about the topic, or whatever it is at hand we can talk about, and we all can grow from it. That’s my whole deal.“I know I’m not necessarily talking to all you guys – all you guys with all these mics here. My whole thing is when I disagree that doesn’t mean I hate you, that just means … what you guys really wanted is someone who’s open and honest with you and who’s opinionated and that’s who I am. I haven’t changed, I’m the same person. I just grew as a man. Hopefully you just appreciate it and know that I don’t hate you. That’s a harsh word and my mom never brought me up to be a hater of anyone.“I always believe that if I’m open and honest and opinionated that I can grow as a person and hopefully you can learn that’s what I’m about, and hopefully you all can get better. The main goal is to help the fans know the game a little bit more than they know today, so that’s my goal and hopefully that’s your goal instead of getting headlines and clicks. That’s my take on it, that’s the last time I’ll talk about it, but I had something I had to get off my chest. I appreciate it.”"

Of course, this did little to really address who he was talking aboutESPN’s Mike Wilbon and his mostly fair comments on who is contending for a title  — and lumped the media into some weird group that was seemingly out to get him. Other than one headline, it is hard to really figure out what bothers Durant so much about the media, and why he spends so much time talking about it.

Ever since he was forced a heel turn to prove he wasn’t the deferential star he was accused of being (as if that was bad?) he’s been taking shots at the media but never really landing them. Like Nick Saban in Alabama, he somehow takes every slight uttered at him and lumps it in with the media as a whole.

When he’s specific, such as when he refutes the stupidity of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, the media at large is on his side, seeing that he’s calling out one person. Maybe if he would have been more specific here I wouldn’t be criticizing him, but as someone whose line of work depends on an understanding between the subjects of media coverage and the media itself, it is frustrating to see him be unspecific.

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We’re on your side, Kevin, just don’t lump us in with Stephen A. Smith. We enjoy talking about you scoring 24 points and 10 rebounds against the Heat more than trying to parse out your media criticism.