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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Celtics at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: November 30, 2010

Boston Celtics (12-4) at Cleveland Cavaliers (7-9)
7 p.m., Quicken Loans Arena, WTAM/FS Ohio

Cavs probable starters: PG Mo Williams, SG Anthony Parker, SF Joey Graham, PF J.J. Hickson, C Anderson Varejao
Celtics probable starters: PG Rajon Rondo, SG Ray Allen, SF Paul Pierce, PF Kevin Garnett, C Shaquille O'Neal
Injury report: Cavs -- None; Celtics -- Kendrick Perkins (right knee surgery) out, Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out, Delonte West (broken right wrist) out.
Officials: Dick Bavetta, Kevin Cutler, John Goble

* Cavs and Celtics players alike were deluged with questions about Thursday's game against LeBron James and the Heat, which is kind of comical since tonight's game is another rematch of a great rivalry the last few years. Of course, so much has changed since then and this game no longer means what it once did.

* But the Cavs remain focused on tonight, which they should be. The Celtics are rested and playing much better now than they were when the Cavs beat them on opening night. If the Cavs are worried about Thursday, the Celtics can blow them out of the arena -- and that's no way to enter Thursday.

* Best line of the day came from -- who else? -- Shaquille O'Neal, who knows a thing or two about going back home. O'Neal was hated when he returned to Orlando and then Los Angeles, but even he says it was nothing compared to what James is about to receive. "My situation in Orlando was a 6, my situation in LA was a 7. This is like a 12. I’m anxious to see him do the powder shit. We have bets he won’t do it."

* Boston PG Rajon Rondo just returned from a hamstring injury and still isn't 100 percent. Byron Scott said in his playing days, guys would "test" opponents' injuries anytime they saw a player wearing a pad. Times are different now, but Scott prefers the way it used to be.

* Former Cav Delonte West will miss this game with a broken right wrist, which is expected to keep him out for at least the next couple of months. It's an injury that has really impacted the Celtics' rotation, since West was a key member of their second unit. "That’s a tough one for us. That one hurt us," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "My plans going into the year were to have two units: a starting unit and a second unit because of the age of our team. Now we have to scrap those plans and some of our starters are going to have to play different minutes. Not what we wanted, but you know how the season takes its own turns and we have to adjust to it."

* Doc likened LeBron's return here with Shaq going back to Orlando and Johnny Damon returning to Boston wearing a Yankees jersey. He said he doesn't watch many games during the season, but he's tuning in Thursday. "I think I’m going to watch just the beginning," Rivers said. Because I think that will be the most interesting part.

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