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Cavaliers vs. Nuggets: Game Preview

Will the losing streak ever end? The Cavaliers have run their current streak to six games and are trying desperately to snap it as they visit the Mile High City today. The Nuggets are obviously a pretty solid team, so a win will not come easily.

Song Of The Day: It's My Life - Bon Jovi

Tonight's Overview:

Cleveland Cavaliers (13-23) at Denver Nuggets (22-17)

Six straight losses -- can the Cavs snap the skid tonight? As I look at the matchup more and more, it really doesn't look good. The Nuggets are a really good team and they are just now getting healthy. Danilo Gallinari, arguably their best player, came back in their last game against the Sacramento Kings. Similarly, Nene also came back in limited minutes. However, they seem to be easing both of them into action. Don't be surprised if they assume their normal roles in the starting lineup tonight.

Perhaps the biggest key for the Nuggets is their points in the paint. They lead the entire NBA in scoring in the paint at 51.2 points per game. Cleveland is 22nd in the NBA as far as defending the paint goes. Consider the fact that the Cavs probably got to that spot with Anderson Varejao in the lineup and you'll see that this is going to be a big mismatch tonight.

I can't talk about the Nuggets without mentioning Kenneth Faried. Graced with the nickname, "Manimal", Faried has been spectacular since he started getting playing time. He's got the 9th best PER in the NBA at 23.9 and has just been a beast while Nene has been injured. I'm not sure how George Karl will juggle the minutes once Nene comes back to the starting lineup, but that's not our problem. The only thing that the Cavs are concerned with is stopping Faried tonight. At this point, he's pretty much doing what Tristan Thompson does, except in increased playing time. He's a beast on the boards and has thrown down some pretty ferocious dunks. Why didn't we draft him instead of Thompson, you ask? Well, he's listed at 6'8" but I'm pretty sure that he's smaller than that. Thompson is bigger and has the ability to play center, if need be. Faried was listed as 6'6" in his redraft workout without shoes while Thompson was listed at 6'7.5". That's a big difference. Also, Thompson is two years younger than Faried, so there's that.

Looking back, that last paragraph might have sounded like I was dissing Faried. That's not my intention at all, he's a really useful player. He's going to be a handful for the Cavs tonight. I guess I jumped the gun a little bit on my key matchup...

We all know about Kyrie Irving and how he's one of the best young point guards in the game today, but did you know that Ty Lawson is also pretty nasty? It's almost as if slightly undersized, quick, scoring point guards in college translate really well to the professional level. Who woulda thunk it?

I guess we'll get to see more Ryan Hollins and Samardo Samuels tonight. Considering that the Nuggets generally dominate the paint, I do not see this going well.

Key Matchup:

Kenneth Faried vs. Tristan Thompson.

SO. MANY. DUNKS. If my crystal ball is working properly, the rims are going to take a beating tonight from these two guys. So many dunks -- so many offensive rebounds. Should be fun.

Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:

Ugh, why do I keep predicting losses? This one seems inevitable. The Nuggets are too deep and too talented to lose to the Cavs on their home court. Cleveland's streak reaches 7-straight losses and the Nuggets roll 112-95. Count those ping-pong balls!