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NBA Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers look to climb back above .500 versus Washington Wizards

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It's Cavs vs. Wizards in D.C.

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Remember the preseason, when we all craved news even though there wasn't much to be found, and then like manna from heaven (not that kind of manna from heaven) Dion Waiters and Bradley Beal started throwing shade at one another over which team really had the best backcourt in the NBA?

Ah, the good old days. So much swagger, so much youthful exuberance and chutzpah. More than ten weeks into the season, Waiters and Beal (and their respective teams, the Cavaliers and Wizards) finally get to settle the score on the basketball court.Who: Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards

What: They will be playing basketball When: 7 p.m.

Where: Verizon Center, 601 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Why: What else do you have to do on a Friday night when it's this damn cold?

Television: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio, CSNB

How: I don't know, get a job and buy a TV, ya hippie.

As I pointed out in this week's edition of the vaunted Fear the Sword Eastern Conference Power Rankings, the Wizards' victories have come against the Magic (twice), Pacers (twice), Bucks, Knicks and Pistons. Sure, Orlando, Indiana and Milwaukee are plucky, but it's fair to wonder how Washington will hold up against stiffer competition. The combined record of the teams they've beaten? 38-54 (.413). The combined record of the teams they've lost to (the Heat, Raptors and Mavericks)? 24-11 (.686).

The Cavs, owning a 5-5 record and possessing many kinks to work out, should certainly be considered stiff competition. Despite Love's lackluster 39 percent shooting percentage, LeBron's tendency to turn the ball over (3.8 times per-36 minutes, highest of his career) and Kyrie's poor defensive showing and tendency to go iso a tad too much, enough positive things happened in the past week and a half (including a four game winning streak) for Cavs fans to be optimistic.

Sure, pooping the bed against the Nuggets and turning the ball over with the chance to force overtime or beat the Spurs in regulation weren't ideal, but the tough tests of the weekend in Washington and Toronto provide chances to get the team moving in the right direction again.

Fear The Sword Fearless Prediction: Wall/Beal and Kyrie/Waiters play 2-on-2, NBA Jam style, to determine both the winner of the game and the title of "best backcourt" in the NBA, non-Golden State division.

But really, Cavs 114, Wizards 108.

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