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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Cavs at Blazers

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 8, 2012

Cleveland Cavaliers (4-3) at Portland Trail Blazers (5-2)
Time: 9 p.m.; Venue: Rose Garden; TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WTAM, WAKR, WHBC
Cavs probables: PG Kyrie Irving (14.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 5.3 apg), SG Anthony Parker (7.4, 2.1, 2.0), SF Omri Casspi (6.0, 2.1, 1.6), PF Antawn Jamison (17.9, 5.1, 0.7), C Anderson Varejao (9.3, 10.1, 1.6)
Blazers probables: PG Raymond Felton (11.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 6.7 apg), SG Wes Matthews (14.4, 4.0, 1.1), SF Gerald Wallace (14.9, 6.7, 1.4), PF LaMarcus Aldridge (21.9, 7.7, 1.9), C Marcus Camby (3.3, 9.0, 3.1)
Injury report: Cavs -- Semih Erden (thumb) doubtful; Blazers -- Greg Oden (knee) out
Officials: Bill Spooner, Derrick Collins, Scott Wall

* There remains a chance Semih Erden could make his season debut tonight, but Cavs coach Byron Scott seems inclined to give Erden another practice first on Monday, then playing him Tuesday at Utah.

* Erden was still pretty winded when Scott put the players through a conditioning run at the end of Saturday's practice. "I've always had the firm belief when you throw a guy out there and he's not in shape, that's when they get hurt," Scott said. "That's the thing that scares me the most. I want to get him in a little bit better shape and keep working with him the next couple days."

* Scott still left open the possibility of playing him tonight, though, and said he wanted to speak with Erden first before making a final decision. But all signs point to Erden sitting again.

* Tonight will serve as the best test of the young season. The Blazers are unbeaten at home and always seem to play well in the Rose Garden. They smashed the Cavs by 41 here last season and boast one of the league's better frontcourts in Gerald Wallace and LaMarcus Aldridge.

* Antawn Jamison will particularly have his hands full with Aldridge, who is probably one of the top four power forwards in the league. But Jamison held his own Friday against Minnesota's Kevin Love, who is physically stronger than Jamison.

* In fact, Jamison might qualify as the biggest surprise player this season. He shot a career-low 42.7 percent last season, but has benefited from open looks created by extra passes and Kyrie Irving's vision. Jamison still shoots too much, but at least this season the looks have been much better.

* The Blazers were whipped by the Suns 102-77 on Friday, but they were playing the second of a back-to-back and coming off an emotional home victory over the Lakers. The 77 points were the fewest in a game for the Blazers in more than a year.

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