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Game #22 Preview: Dallas Mavericks at Cleveland Cavaliers

After a really blah game in Orlando, the Cavaliers turn right around and head home to host the 2011 World Champion Dallas Mavericks. I know that some of us are appreciative of Dirk Nowitzki and company for beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, but Byron Scott doesn't want to hear it. You're here to root for the Cavs and he said he doesn't want Quicken Loans Arena cheering for the Mavs at all. I'm not sure if the crowd is going to listen.

Song Of The Day: German Moses - Some Guys On Youtube

He's a shooter like Larry Bird.

Tonight's Overview:

Dallas Mavericks (14-10) at Cleveland Cavaliers (8-13)

The schedule in this condensed season is crazy. There is no time for any rests or practices and no time for me to write previews at a reasonable time. The Mavericks got off to a slow start to the season, but have since turned it around and are right in the thick of things in the vastly superior Western Conference. Dirk has gotten off to a slow start this season, but will still be absolute nightmare for the Cavs. If you think Cleveland had a hard time with Ryan Anderson last night, Dirk is going to go bananas.

Kyrie Irving should be able to get back to his normal scoring ways. There's no Dwight Howard lurking in the paint on the Mavericks this year. Tyson Chandler was that guy last season, but he's now living it up with the New York Knicks. Jason Kidd has always been a great defender, but he's gotten pretty old and I'm willing to bet that he can no longer stay in front of someone as fast as Irving. Look for Irving to bounce back and have a big night.

There are a good number of guys on the Mavs that will pose some issues for the Cavaliers defensively. Lamar Odom is the kind of guy that can stretch a defense and make Anderson Varejao stray from the painted area. Basically everyone in the league is a mismatch against Antawn Jamison, so we'll see if he gets the pleasure of guarding Dirk. It seems like Tristan Thompson is going to be out once again. That means more minutes from Samardo Samuels and Semih Erden...gross.

As far as I know, Daniel Gibson and Anthony Parker will be out as well. Ramon Sessions had a pretty nice game last night and these injuries give the Cavs a chance to showcase Razor Ramon even more before they trade him. I also want to see Alonzo Gee dunk on Vince Carter, just because it would be awesome and kind of ironic.

Key Matchup:

Shawn Marion vs. Alonzo Gee

Why is this the key matchup, you ask? Is this because I'm not sure who else to pick? Maybe. Is it because I'm rushing to get this preview done before the game starts? Definitely possible. Those things aside, it's because I think Alonzo Gee has the potential to play the role on a team that Marion played for the Mavs last year. Frequently, Marion was matched up against the other team's best wing scorer and was able to provide a decent amount of offense with some jumpers and slashing to the basket. Whichever of these reasons you choose to believe, that's my key matchup for the night.

Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:

I predict that the crowd will ignore Byron Scott's wishes and will indeed cheer Dirk and the Mavs when they are introduced. I also believe that the Cavs will play better than they did last night against the Magic, but it still won't be enough. There is nobody on this roster to keep Dirk in check and he will go off for 30+ points. The Cavs lose by a score of 101-94.