This month I venture again to the hardwood courts of the National Basketball Association as I take a look at the Cleveland Cavaliers-Denver Nuggets match-up.
Cleveland Cavaliers (20-9) @ Denver Nuggets (12-19)
Overview: The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently 20-9, good for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, 2 games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks. Last night they put a halt to their brief 2 game losing skid with a 101-97 victory at the Phoenix Suns. The team shot 46.5% from the field, 72% from the free throw line, and 41.5% from the 3 point line. Starting point guard Kyrie Irving led the way with 22 points and 2 assists. He shot 7 of 16 from the field, 6 of 6 from the free throw line, and 2 of 7 from the 3 point line. Starting shooting guard J.R. Smith netted 17 points. He also had 3 rebounds. He was 5 of 11 from the field (all 3 point attempts) and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Starting power forward Kevin Love contributed with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. He was 6 of 11 from the field, 1 of 1 from the free throw line, and 3 of 6 from the 3 point line. Starting small forward LeBron James produced 14 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. He shot 4 of 10 from the field, 5 of 9 from the free throw line, and 1 of 5 from the 3 point line. Tonight is their 16th road game of the season. They are 7-8 on the road this season. Tonight is their 9th game versus a Western Conference opponent. This season they are 5-3 versus Western Conference opponents. Tonight is the 2nd game of a back to back. They are 2-3 in the 2nd game so far this season. Tonight is the last game of a 4 game road trip. After tonight they go home for 2 in a row. Their next game is Saturday at home versus the Orlando Magic. The Denver Nuggets are currently 12-19 and on the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoffs race, 2 games behind the 8th seed Utah Jazz. They have lost 2 in a row and 5 of their last 6 games after a 122-112 defeat at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday evening. The team shot 48.9% from the field, 73.3% from the free throw line, and 36% from the 3 point line. Starting power forward Kenneth Faried tallied a double-double as he poured in 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. He also had 2 blocks. He shot 12 of 20 from the field and 1 of 2 from the free throw line. Backup small forward Will Barton came off the bench to score 19 points. He also had 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He was 8 of 16 from the field, 2 of 3 from the free throw line, and 1 of 6 from the 3 point line. Starting center Joffrey Lauvergne netted 18 points. He also had 4 rebounds. He was 8 of 15 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Starting shooting guard Gary Harris chipped in with 16 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. He shot 6 of 13 from the field, 2 of 4 from the free throw line, and 2 of 5 from the 3 point line. Starting point guard Jameer Nelson contributed with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was 5 of 11 from the field, 2 of 2 from the free throw line, and 3 of 6 from the 3 point line.Tonight is their 15th home game of the season. They are 5-9 at home so far this season. Tonight is their 7th game versus an Eastern Conference opponent. This season they are 3-3 versus Eastern Conference opponents. Tonight is the 1st game of a back to back. After tonight they go on the road for 2 in a row. Tomorrow night they play at the Portland Trail Blazers.
Tonight is the 1st meeting of the season between Cleveland and Denver. Last season the Cavaliers and Nuggets split their 2 meetings. After tonight the 2 teams play 1 more time this season: March 21st 2016 at Cleveland.
Prediction: The Cavaliers now have Kyrie Irving back and so they finally have their full roster intact. Meanwhile the Nuggets are in a bit of a transition this season so they will be up and down for the most part. I like the Cavaliers to now get rolling even more with their full roster available.
Play: Cavaliers -6 (Bet365)
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