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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Cavs at Raptors

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 6, 2011

Cleveland Cavaliers (16-61) at Toronto Raptors (21-56)
Time: 7 p.m.; Venue: Air Canada Centre; TV/Radio: Fox Sports Ohio/WAKR

Cavs probables: PG Baron Davis, SG Anthony Parker, SF Christian Eyenga, PF J.J. Hickson, C Ryan Hollins
Raptors probables: PG Jerryd Bayless, SG DeMar DeRozan, SF James Johnson, PF Amir Johnson, C Ed Davis
Officials: Mike Callahan, Matt Boland, Brian Forte
Injury report: Cavs -- Anderson Varejao (ankle) out, Semih Erden (groin) out, Antawn Jamison (finger) out, Samardo Samuels (groin) doubtful. Raptors -- Andrea Bargnani (ankle) questionable, Jose Calderon (hamstring) questionable, Leandro Barbosa (pinkie) questionable, Linas Kleiza (knee) out.

* Without LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the Cavs and Raptors have plummeted to the bottom of the East standings. The two teams have combined to win just 24 percent of their games this season, though to be fair, the Cavs have been decimated with injuries and the Raptors weren't even a playoff team last season with Bosh.

* The Cavs have won three of their last seven games. It may not sound like much, but given how far this team had fallen, it's actually quite an accomplishment.

*'s Matt Moore wondered again today why Byron Scott isn't on the hot seat this season. He more or less wondered the same thing last month as well. I'm by no means a Byron apologist, I just think it's incredibly unfair to judge him based on this season. One fair criticism of him might be he's not much of a motivator, mainly because his old school ways force him to believe players should be able to motivate themselves.

* Beyond that, I don't have much to criticize Scott for this season. I think Moore glosses over too casually the fact the Cavs have beaten the Celtics, Lakers and Heat. Only two other teams in the Eastern Conference have beaten all three of those opponents -- the playoff-bound Bulls and Magic. To blame Scott for burying rookies Darren Collison and Matt Thornton on the bench in New Orleans is idiotic. Scott was fired nine games into last season. Nine. Hardly enough time to get the headstone in place on the grave of a couple of rookies. Collison was sitting behind an All-Star in Chris Paul and Thornton was a second-round pick.Second rounders aren't given a grand stage by any coach nine games into a season, particularly on a team with playoff aspirations.

* Conversely, Scott should get a ton of credit for J.J. Hickson's stunning improvement this season and even Daniel Gibson's return to relativity. Scott instilled confidence in Gibson that had been stolen by years of injuries and inactivity. He chewed out Hickson more than once early in the season, but he finally got through to him and Hickson has produced All-Star caliber numbers since January.

* Ultimately, Scott has taken three teams to conference finals and won conference championships with two teams. The Cavs were thrilled to land him last summer when they didn't have a commitment from LeBron. Unless he begs out of his contract (which he won't), he isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

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