Some are calling it a preview of the NBA Finals. Others paint it as a battle between MVP candidates. Either way, it's a game featuring perhaps the two best and most intriguing teams in the league.
Either way, the marquee will be big and bold Thursday night, when the Warriors enter Quicken Loans Arena to face the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Warriors (44-10) have had the best record in the NBA for most of this season, while the Cavaliers (36-22) have been the hottest over the past six weeks.
The Warriors are trying to sweep for the third time in four seasons. None of those wins came with LeBron James on the court. Returning to the Cavs after four seasons in Miami, James missed the first meeting between the teams, on Jan. 9 in Oakland.
LeBron is healthy now. That, along with the good health of the Warriors, explains why this game is so highly anticipated on a global scale.
OPENING LINE: Cavaliers by 3.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Harrison Barnes/Andre Iguodala vs. LeBron James. Equal parts point guard, small forward and power forward, James is the toughest matchup in the league. The Warriors want to keep him out of transition and try to force the four-time MVP to shoot jump shots in the halfcourt.
Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving. Another night, another fabulous individual matchup for Curry. Irving has the full offensive package but sometimes forgets he's a point guard. He can be indifferent on defense, but might be motivated by the sight of Curry, another MVP candidate.
Andrew Bogut vs. Timofey Mozgov. Bogut-Mozgov may not seem crucial, but Mozgov is not to be taken lightly. He can make an impact in the paint. He's shooting 67 percent over his last 10 games, reaching double figures in seven of those games.
Draymond Green vs. Kevin Love. Love's production has been wildly inconsistent, with five games of more than 25 points and 10 with less than 10 points. He seems to be finding himself, though, and roughly half his shots over the past month have come from beyond the arc.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Be flexible on D. The Cavs pose many matchup problems, so foul trouble is a legitimate concern. Are the Warriors willing to go zone? Moreover, would it work?
2) Crush the glass. The Dubs have occasional lapses in rebounding and it hurts them. To lapse in this game, or give up too many second chances, would be deadly.
3) Park on the arc. The Warriors must drain the open looks sure to come, often off Curry's actions. Cleveland's 3-point defense is not always reliable or focused.
LAST 10: Warriors 8-2, Cavaliers 8-2.
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Cavaliers: F Shawn Marion (left hip strain) and C/F Anderson Varejao (left Achilles tendon rupture) are listed as out.
The Warriors have won seven of the last eight meetings, though none of those wins occurred with James on the floor. Prior to that impressive run, the Warriors had lost seven of eight against the Cavaliers.