CAVALIERS AT NUGGETS, 9 P.M. ET

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  • Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving will play despite feeling ill. He didn’t take part in the morning shootaround but he will start. How long he plays will be determined early. “We’ll see how it goes. I’ll watch him the first quarter,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. “I normally let him play the whole first quarter but I’ll watch him because of the altitude, see how it affects him. We sent him back to the room this morning so he didn’t get a chance to get any running in so we’ll see how it goes.”
  • The Nuggets have a solid eight-man rotation but things are going to get crowded with the expected return of forward Wilson Chandler in the next few games. Chandler has played just four games and hasn’t seen the court since Nov. 12. He has been rehabbing the effects of offseason hip surgery. “Wilson probably will play in the next couple of games, so that’s another problem right there,” coach George Karl said. “All of a sudden I have 12 or 13 guys that should be on the court. I don’t think anybody should feel secure in their minutes. They have to earn them and that’s how it should be.”
  • Denver forward Kenneth Faried is coming off a 19-point, 19-rebound performance against Orlando and he has the attention of Cleveland. Despite not having a set play run for him Faried is averaging 12.2 points and 10.2 rebounds a game. “You can’t game plan for energy,” Scott said. “You can hope that you’ve got someone who can guard him that has the same type of motor he does, but as far as game plan all you can do is tell your guys, ‘this is what this guy does, and he does it for 48 minutes. If you’re not ready he’ll kick your butt. It’s that simple. You can game plan for a lot of stuff but energy is not one of them.”

– Michael Kelly

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