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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Bobcats (11-36) at Cavs (14-34)

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 6, 2013
Walker, Kemba
Kemba Walker is the leading scorer on a Bobcats team that has lost seven of their last eight. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


Time: 7 p.m.; Place: The Q; TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WTAM, WLEC, WAKR

Injury report: CavsAnderson Varejao (knee) out; Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (concussion) out.

Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Tony Brown, Josh Tiven

Series: Cavs lead 1-0


Cavs probables

Name Ht, Wt Pts Rebs Asts
PG Kyrie Irving 6-3, 191 24.0 3.5 5.4
SG Dion Waiters 6-4, 221 14.2 2.5 3.2
SF Alonzo Gee 6-6, 219 10.4 4.0 2.0
PF Tristan Thompson 6-9, 227 11.1 9.3 1.3
C Tyler Zeller 7-0, 250 8.1 6.1 1.2



Bobcats probables

Name Ht, Wt Pts Rebs Asts
PG Kemba Walker 6-1, 184 18.0 3.5 5.7
SG GeraldHenderson 6-5, 215 12.5 3.2 1.9
SF Jeffery Taylor 6-7, 225 6.7 2.1 0.9
PF Jeff Adrien 6-7, 245 4.3 4.6 0.6
C Bismack Biyombo 6-9, 245 4.5 6.8 0.3



* Coach Byron Scott and Cavs players have said for days this game is equally as important as Saturday's victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Cavs' lack of focus against weaker teams gets another strong test tonight, sinc the Bobcats are one of only two teams in the league with a worse record than the Cavs.

* The Bobcats have lost seven of their last eight and tonight is the final stop on a brutal five-game, 10-day trip. They've lost every game, and starting small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, on this trip. 

* The Bobcats are allowing an average of 103 points per game, third-most in the league. Opponents are shooting .464, which is fifth-worst (the Cavs are one of the five teams worse). They've lost 13 of 14 games at the Q in their existence. 

* "No disrespect to Charlotte, they're going to play hard ... But this is a game we should win," Scott said. "You have to play these guys with more fear of losing tonight than you did against Oklahoma City, because that's a great team so you're going to get up to play. This is the game you should be the most worried about as a basketball player. If you have that type of attitude, then you're going to come out the right way."

* Teams 10 games out of the playoff race don't really face must-win games, but this is as close as it gets for the Cavs. This is a game this team absolutely should win, and really needs to win, to build any sort of confidence. 

* Ramon Sessions is apparently destined to be a backup point guard. He signed with the Bobcats as a free agent last summer with the expectation of starting, but he was beaten out by second-year guard Kemba Walker and has come off the bench all season. While Walker leads the team in scoring, assists and steals (1.9), Sessions is averaging a respectable 15 points and 3.9 assists coming off the bench.

* Scott said he has no problem with the decision if Heat coach Erik Spoelstra elects to start Chris Bosh in the All-Star game rather than Kyrie Irving. "He's the coach. He's earned that right to pick who he wants," Scott said. "I have a lot of respect for Erik, so I have no problem."

* An obvious choice would be to start Kyrie Irving at point guard, but Spoelstra is instead likely to move LeBron James to point guard to replace the injured Rajon Rondo and insert Bosh at power forward. When asked about his intentions recently, Spoelstra said: "I will tell you this, unequivocally, that my loyalties are first and foremost always with the Miami Heat."

* Scott said he understands that. "If I was coaching, there's nobody in the world who could tell me who I was going to start if I had one spot available and the commissioner said, 'Coach, it's on you,'" Scott said. "Most likely it would be one of my guys."




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