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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Cavs at Bulls

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 1, 2011

Cleveland Cavaliers (8-24) at Chicago Bulls (21-10)
Time: 7 p.m., Venue: United Center, TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WAKR, WTAM

Cavs probable starters: PG Mo Williams/Ramon Sessions, SG Daniel Gibson/Manny Harris, SF Anthony Parker, PF Antawn Jamison, C Leon Powe
Bulls probable starters: PG Derrick Rose, SG Keith Bogans, SF Luol Deng, PF Carlos Boozer, C Kurt Thomas
Officials: Marc Davis, Pat Fraher, Derek Richardson
Injury report: Cavs -- Mo Williams (hip) questionable, Daniel Gibson (thigh) questionable, Anderson Varejao (cheekbone) out, Joey Graham (quad) out; Bulls -- Joakim Noah (right thumb, hand) out.

* The status of both Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson won't be known until closer to tip-off. Scott had no inclination at this morning's shootaround if either would be able to play. Yesterday he called the decision 50/50.

* Even with both of them, the Cavs face an uphill battle without Anderson Varejao, who broke a bone in his face in Wednesday's loss at Charlotte. Scott said he was "75 percent sure" he was going to start Leon Powe over Ryan Hollins tonight against the Bulls. Since they are without Joakim Noah, the Bulls don't have much size. Powe provides a little more muscle and rebounding ability than Hollins.

* Scott pulled the players into the United Center this morning at 9 a.m. CST to shoot, an hour earlier than usual. Since the game tips at 6 here, Scott said he wanted to get in early and allow the players time to get back to the hotel and rest before the game. Then he laughed when I asked him if he was sure he didn't pull them in early to ensure they behaved on New Year's Eve. "Well that may have had something to do with it," he said.

* Scott celebrated the new year with his wife in their hotel room with a room service dinner and a bottle of champagne. He said the champagne was gone by 11 p.m. and they struggled to stay awake until midnight.

* Many of the players brought their wives or significant others on this trip to celebrate the new year together.

* As for the Bulls, they're coming off a sloppy 90-81 home victory over the New Jersey Nets. So technically, this is a back-to-back for them, but both of the games are at home and Friday's was played in the afternoon.

* The Bulls are 5-2 since losing Noah, who will be out until late February or early March following thumb surgery. The Bulls have won 12 of 14, thanks in part to newcomer Carlos Boozer. The former Cav has picked up the slack since Noah went down, averaging 24.6 points and 11.1 rebounds in the seven games Noah has missed. Those are significantly higher than his season averages of 20.7 points and 9.3 rebounds.

* Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Doc Rivers' former lead assistant in Boston, has an extensive defensive background. As a result, the Bulls rank eighth in the league in scoring defense, allowing fewer than 95 points per game.

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