Cleveland Cavaliers (8-25) at Dallas Mavericks (24-8)
Time: 7 p.m., Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, 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
Mavericks probable starters: PG Jason Kidd, SG DeShawn Stevenson, SF Caron Butler, PF Brian Cardinal, C Tyson Chandler
Officials: Ron Garretson, Olandis Poole, Sean Wright
Injury report: Cavs -- Mo Williams (hip) questionable, Daniel Gibson (thigh) questionable, Anderson Varejao (cheekbone) out, Joey Graham (quad) out; Mavericks -- Dirk Nowitzki (sprained right knee) day to day, Rodrigue Beaubois (fractured left foot) out.
* Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson will be game-time decisions again tonight. Both will presumably go through their pregame routine again before a decision will be made. Williams said Saturday night he knows he won't be fully healthy again all season, but hinted he needs to be farther along than he is right now to return. My guess -- and this is strictly a guess -- is that Williams will sit again tonight. Gibson seems to be a little farther along. Whether or not that means he can play against the Mavericks remains to be seen.
* Antawn Jamison gave an insulted laugh Saturday night when I asked him if he was surprised by how well the team played. I understand why he'd be offended, but reality is that this is an eight-win team that played to its full potential Saturday (for three quarters) minus three starters. Duplicating that effort tonight, off a back-to-back, will be difficult.
* The Mavericks have been drilled with injuries, too. Caron Butler injured his knee in the first quarter of Saturday night's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Butler is most certainly out tonight and could have a torn ligament in his knee, although that won't be known until tomorrow.
* Also, the Mavericks could rest Dirk Nowitzki again. They don't seem to be in any hurry to rush him back after he sprained his knee. He's missed the last three games.
* The Bulls had little trouble getting inside on the Cavs last night because Derrick Rose can beat most defenders off the dribble and there is no defensive enforcer to guard the rim with Anderson Varejao out. Jason Kidd isn't as quick as he used to be, but if the Mavs can get inside tonight, they should have the same success the Bulls did.
* Give credit to J.J. Hickson for playing hard and being accountable when his team really needed him on Saturday. Hickson put forth one of his best efforts and could earn a lot of points with Byron Scott if he can do it again. Scott said Hickson had a couple of defensive errors in the first half that were brought to his attention, but he doesn't believe Hickson is getting as lost now on defense as he was a few weeks ago. Part of the problem with the Cavs this year has been the lack of development in Hickson. That's not to blame him for all that has gone wrong, that would be ludicrous. But in this lost season, it would be nice if Hickson could at least develop into a core player for the future. As of now, he has yet to do that.
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