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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Celtics at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 31, 2012

Boston Celtics (9-10) at Cleveland Cavaliers (8-11)
Time: 7 p.m.; Venue: The Q; TV/Radio: Fox Sports Ohio/WTAM, WAKR, WHBC
Cavs probables: PG Kyrie Irving (17.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.8 apg), SG Anthony Parker (6.0, 2.4, 2.2), SF Omri Casspi (8.1, 2.8, 1.2), PF Antawn Jamison 15.0, 5.3, 1.6), C Anderson Varejao (9.9, 11.0, 1.7)
Celtics probables: PG Avery Bradley (3.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.3 apg), SF Ray Allen (15.3, 3.1, 2.4), SF Paul Pierce (17.8, 5.4, 5.3), PF Kevin Garnett (13.4, 7.5, 2.7), C Brandon Bass (11.9, 6.3, 0.8)
Injuries: Cavs -- Daniel Gibson (neck) out, Anthony Parker (back) out; Celtics -- Rajon Rondo (wrist) questionable, Keyon Dooling (hip) questionable, Jermaine O'Neal (knee) probable
Officials: Joe Crawford, Bennie Adams, Karl Lane

Notes
* Byron Scott is still undecided who he'll start at shooting guard tonight. With both Anthony Parker and Daniel Gibson unavailable, Mychel Thompson and Alonzo Gee seem the most obvious candidates and a decent case could be made for starting either.

* Thompson played well in the fourth quarter Sunday and Anthony Parker's back problems probably aren't going to improve as this condensed season progresses. The Cavs are going to need another option at shooting guard, so now seems like the perfect opportunity to give Thompson an extended look to see what he can do. If he fails, they can always go get Manny Harris in Canton.

* But Gee has played really, really well and starting him could serve as a nice reward for such an improved season. Gee is more of a small forward, but played some guard in high school and said the wings in Poland were interchangeable, so technically he probably played a little shooting guard during the NBA lockout. He's comfortable there, but Scott likes the energy he brings off the bench.

* Gee is a fascinating story. He played guard in high school, then moved to power forward in college and now he's dabbling with shooting guard again in the NBA. And Gee played in the SEC at Alabama, so he was a 6-foot-5 power forward against legitimate competition.

* Gee is making a name for himself with some of his recent power dunks, but surprisingly said he wasn't sure whether or not he'd want an invitation to the Slam Dunk contest. "The season being the way it is, if I get time off..." he said, inferring his body could use some rest over the All-Star break.

* Gibson remains hospitalized in Boston while doctors treat a soft tissue infection in his neck with antibiotics. No one seems to know how Gibson obtained the infection or how long it will keep him out of the lineup.

* Scott said the Celtics would come into tonight "pissed off" and feeling like the Cavs stole one from them on Sunday. Even Scott conceded the Cavs "got lucky." They were down 11 with 4 1/2 minutes left, but when they cut the deficit to 87-84, Scott said he knew the Cavs had a game again.

* In the last two games, Kyrie Irving has played a total of 12:46 in the fourth quarters and scored 29 points. He had 21 in the fourth quarter in the loss to the Nets and eight points against the Celtics, including the game winner. "It's pretty impressive," Scott said. "The last two games, he's beginning to take over in the fourth quarter. The trick is, can you continuously do it? He's off to a pretty good start."

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