Time: 7:30 p.m.; Place: The Q; TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WTAM, WLEC, WAKR
|PG Kyrie Irving||6-3, 191||29.0||6.0||3.0|
|SG Dion Waiters||6-4, 221||17.0||2.0||0.0|
|SF Alonzo Gee||6-6, 219||4.0||3.0||2.0|
|PF Tristan Thompson||6-9, 227||12.0||10.0||5.0|
|C Anderson Varejao||6-11, 260||9.0||23.0||9.0|
|PG Kirk Hinrich||6-4, 190||3.0||3.0||7.0|
|SG Richard Hamilton||6-7, 193||19.0||1.0||3.0|
|SF Luol Deng||6-9, 220||7.0||12.0||2.0|
|PF Carlos Boozer||6-9, 266||18.0||8.0||2.0|
|C Joakim Noah||6-11, 232||23.0||10.0||3.0|
Cavs: None; Bulls: Derrick Rose (knee) out.
Monty McCutchen, Lauren Holtkamp, Courtney Kirkland
* The Cavaliers haven't beaten the Bulls since eliminating them from the playoffs in 2010. Since then, they've dropped seven consecutive games to the defending Central Division champs.
* The Bulls are without Derrick Rose, who isn't expected back before January and could conceivably remain out much longer. But by now, they're used to playing without him. They went 18-9 last season without the former MVP before falling in the first round of the playoffs after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
* "They didn't have Rose for the majority of the season and they still had the best record in the East," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "They're still probably a top two or three team in the Eastern Conference. They still have something to prove and they're still learning. They have a very good idea what they can do without Derrick and they're just picking up where they left off."
* Rose and Kyrie Irving still haven't faced each other in a game and might not this season, either, depending on Rose's rehab. There would appear a chance the two could meet in the teams' final meeting on Feb. 26 in Chicago. It's doubtful Rose will return before then.
* Kirk Hinrich is starting in place of Rose and will be forced to defend Irving with a sore groin. "He's good man," Hinrich told the Chicago Tribune this morning. "He has a very good handle. He can score in a lot of different ways. I just play him as tough as I can, stick with what we're trying to do as a team and try to guard him as a group."
* A fun matchup to watch tonight will be Joakim Noah and Anderson Varejao, two players who are near clones the way they hustle, rebound and defend. Both players can make life miserable on opponents.
* Dion Waiters looked good in his debut, but the talent level on the floor goes up considerably tonight. Waiters did a nice job against fellow rookie Bradley Beal in the Cavs' opener, but now he must deal with a pair of veteran guards in Hinrich and Richard Hamilton.
* Carlos Boozer appears to dislike Cleveland about as much as Cleveland still dislikes Carlos Boozer. He was asked this week if he ever thinks about what would've happened had he remained here with LeBron James instead of bolting for Utah. "That story is over," Boozer said. "Ask me another question."
* Boozer said he doesn't play the what-if game over Cleveland, he plays it over last season and Rose's knee injury. "My what-if last year was if we would've stayed healthy, we think we would have won the championship," he told the Sun Times. "I felt like if we were healthy, we would have had a chance to win a championship."
* Lauren Holtkamp will work tonight's game. She is the second female official in the NBA and was added to the officials' roster over the summer, joining Violet Palmer as the only women. Holtkamp previously worked in the WNBA and also did some NBA Development League games.
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