Denver Nuggets v Cleveland Cavaliers – NBA
In tonight’s cross-conference match-up, we will see Denver Nuggets hosting Cleveland Cavaliers at Pepsi Center, Denver.
Denver Nuggets are coming into this match after losing their last 2 fixtures, against Rockets (105:109) at home and (125:124) at Toyota Center. Losing with such a small margin is painful, but a loss is still a loss. Now Denver will try to get back on track with another tough match against Cleveland Cavaliers, who are currently positioned 1st in the East. Looking at Denver form, they have been playing quite good prior to 2 defeats against Houston Rockets, as they were on a 4 game winning streak. In the course of those 4 games, Denver won against Celtics (119:99), Kings (92:105), LA Lakers (129:101) and LA Clippers (129:114). It’s a shame their winning run has come to an end, but now they need to focus to get back into wining games. The recent match against Houston Rockets did not start well for Denver, as they were trailing by 7 points by the end of 1st quarter. 2nd quarter offered us a turnover, with Denver stepping up and taking back the lead, outscoring Houston by 10 points (27:37), thus going into half-time with 3 points to spare. In the 3rd quarter we could see Denver “escaping” to 5 point lead, but they soon lost it, as Houston managed to catch up to them and tied the game. So it was all going to be decided in the last 12 minutes. 4th quarter was on Houston’s side for the most part, as they managed to get a 7 point lead at one point. But Denver did not give up and caught up to Houston, only to be defeated by a single point in the end. For anyone watching the match, Denver seemed unorganised in the dying moment of the game and that cost them the match. Nevertheless, they performed well throughout the match. Top scorers of the match: Harden (39pts), Harris (28pts), Barton (24pts).
Cleveland Cavaliers are coming into this match confident, as they did defeat Denver Nuggets in last 3 H2H matches and will be hoping to repeat that success tonight. Looking at their recent form, Cavaliers have won 3 out of last 5 games played. They won against Pistons (128:96), Jazz (91:83) and LA Lakers (120:125), however they suffered a defeat against LA Clippers (108:78) and Houston Rockets (117:112). Looking at those results, they are not in the best shape, or at least not in a form they could be. Let’s take a look at their recent match against LA Lakers. Cavaliers ended the 1st quarter with 3 point lead, but they severely underperformed in 2nd quarter, where they let Lakers score 31 points, whereas they managed to score only 24 themselves (with 38.1%FG). With that, Lakers went into half time with 4 point lead. 3rd quarter was no different, compared to 2nd quarter, as Lakers once again outscored Cavaliers, only this time by 6 points (33:27). With 10 points to spare, Lakers needed to hold on to the lead for the last 12 minutes, but they failed to do so. Cavaliers went into the 4th quarter with intentions to win and they showed that. Cleveland came back from 10 point deficit with a superb 4th quarter (28:43), where they shot with 72.2% accuracy. Quarters like that really show a quality of a team, and there is no denying Cavaliers are a team that will come back from two digit deficit if given a chance to do so. All in all, Cavaliers could have performed better throughout the match, with an exception of 4th quarter where they showed their worth. Top scorers of the match: Irving (46pts), Russell (40pts) and James (34pts).
Verdict & Prediction
Cavaliers are a strong team and there is no doubt about that, but with their recent performances it seems as they are slowly losing their rhythm. This will be a tough match for Denver, but for me they have good chances to win this one.
Prediction: Denver Nuggets +2.00 points
Odds: 2.10 Pinnacle