Update player information before the match of Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs will be hosting the Golden State Warriors on Sunday but they could be without Isaac Okoro, one of their best defenders.
The Cavs could be without their best Steph Curry stopper against Warriors

When it rains, it pours for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the inability to field a healthy roster. Even though Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen have been given the green light to play against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, Ty Jerome is still sidelined. While Jerome serves as the Cavs’ primary backup point guard, they could be down one of their most important players against the Warriors.
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Leading up to the game, Isaac Okoro has been listed as questionable due to left knee soreness. Since his status is currently up in the air, Okoro will likely be a game-time decision for Cleveland moments before tipoff vs Golden State. The Cavs will see how Okoro is feeling and whether or not it would be safe for him to play. There will be a ton of uncertainty surrounding Okoro’s status. Since head coach J.B. Bickerstaff doesn’t like to reveal player availability, we won’t have a clearer understanding until we’re mere moments away from tip-off.
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If Okoro cannot play, it would be a huge blow to the Cavs considering who they’re facing. The Warriors have Stephen Curry, the greatest point guard of all time, Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, Moses Moody, and even Gary Payton II as players that wreak havoc on the perimeter. While the Cavs do have Evan Mobley, Max Strus, Caris LeVert, Dean Wade, and Donovan Mitchell to help contain the threat Golden State presents, they’re still not Okoro.

The former top-five pick is Cleveland’s best point-of-attack defender and frequently draws the assignment of the opposing team’s best perimeter player. This season, when Okoro is on the court, the Cavs are allowing an average of 105.8 points per 100 possessions, which is one of the best averages on the team. If he plays, Okoro would be tasked with defending Curry all night long, likely matching him minute for minute as the game moves along. While it’s early into the season, Curry is having his second-best scoring season ever, averaging 30.8 points per game on hyper-efficient shooting percentages. Cleveland more or less needs Okoro to contain such a potent threat and give themselves a puncher’s chance as they iron out some internal kinks they’re still dealing with.
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Moreover, it’s not just Okoro’s defense that the Cavs need; they need his scoring as well. Six games into the season Okoro has been Cleveland’s most consistent offensive player and is averaging a steady 9.8 points per game either as a starter or key reserve. Heading into 2023-24, there were fears that Okoro’s lack of an offensive attack would shuffle him out of the rotation entirely, especially after he didn’t sign a contract extension. But, as soon as the preseason began, Okoro has been willing to attack the basket or burn teams from the perimeter whenever they sag off of him.

While his 9.8 points per game average doesn’t seem like much, it’s actually pretty significant in the grand scheme of the Cavs’ offensive hierarchy. Donovan Mitchell (32.8), Caris LeVert (18.2), Evan Mobley (15.2), Darius Garland (14.5), Max Strus (13.5), and Jarrett Allen (10.0) are all ahead of Okoro in points per game, but that’s understandable since that’s a mix of Cleveland’s starting five and their sixth man. After Okoro, Georges Niang is behind him at 6.8 points per game, and things start to fall off a cliff scoring-wise for the Cavs.

Finding ways to replace Okoro’s 9.8 points per game could be a hurdle for Bickerstaff and his coaching staff to clear. Considering how deadly Golden State can be on offense, the Cavs could be in for a long night if Okoro cannot play. Of course, Cleveland needs him to slow down Curry and the Warriors on offense. More importantly, they need his consistent scoring and the Cavs try to make this game as ugly as possible to help secure their first home win of the season.

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