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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Nets (22-47) at Cavs (13-56)

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 23, 2011


Time: 7 p.m.; Venue: The Q; TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WAKR
Cavs probables: PG Ramon Sessions, SG Anthony Parker, SF Alonzo Gee, PF J.J. Hickson, C Ryan Hollins
Nets probables: PG Jordan Farmar, SG Anthony Morrow, SF Stephen Graham, PF Kris Humphries, C Brook Lopez
Officials: Marc Davis, Josh Tiven, Sean Wright
Injury report: Cavs -- Anderson Varejao (ankle) out, Semih Erden (groin) doubtful, F Antawn Jamison (finger) out, Baron Davis (back) doubtful; Nets -- Deron Williams (wrist) out; F Damion Jones (foot) out; G-F Quinton Ross (back) out.
Who's hot/Who's not: J.J. Hickson has averaged 23 points in his last two games. ... Small forward Alonzo Gee is shooting 30 percent (6 of 20) and averaging 5.7 points in his last three games. ... Nets center Brook Lopez is averaging 24.2 points and 7.4 rebounds over his last 11 games. ... Kris Humphries has grabbed double figures in rebounds in 11 straight games and 14 of his last 17.

Notes
* Ryan Hollins will start at center tonight, with J.J. Hickson shifting to power forward and Samardo Samuels moving to the bench. Scott simply wanted more size against the Nets, who start 7-foot center Brook Lopez. Hollins is also 7 feet tall, while Hickson and Samuels are both 6-9.

* Hollins and Lopez have a little history. Well, sort of. The Cavs were trying to break that dreadful losing streak in late January and had a chance to win at New Jersey. Hollins was supposed to foul Lopez late, but as Lopez was backing him down, Hollins kept slapping Lopez on the back, which sparked this gem of a line from Scott: "I have no idea what Ryan was doing."

* Scott said the coaches got a good laugh out of it Wednesday morning, but that they wouldn't address it too much with Hollins for fear he'd go the other way and get a flagrant foul. Hollins three flagrant fouls tie him with Philadelphia's Elton Brand for the most this season. Hollins is the only player in the league with two flagrant-2 fouls.

* As expected, Baron Davis won't play tonight. Coach Byron Scott is sticking with his plan of giving Davis a full practice to test his back before playing him again. If all goes well at practice tomorrow, Davis should be available for Friday's game against the Pistons.

* The Nets will be without star point guard Deron Williams, who could miss the rest of the season with strained tendons in his wrist (no one is happier about that than the Utah Jazz, who own the Nets' first-round pick this summer as part of the deal). Jordan Farmar will start again in place of Williams. He has started the last two games and had a career-high 17 assists Sunday at Washington.

* Speaking of Williams, Scott loved the Nets' ability to land him at the trade deadline this season. Scott thought he was the best point guard in the league last season and, like most others around the league, believe you begin building teams with a big and a point guard. The Nets now have both in Lopez and Williams. "Nowadays with the way NBA games are played, if you have an elite point guard, you have a chance to be really good," Scott said. "I'm sure (Nets coach) Avery Johnson is pretty happy right now."

* It will be easy to tell what kind of game Hickson has at forward tonight just by looking at his rebounding and free throw totals. If he doesn't get to the line and he doesn't have a high number of rebounds, then he likely spent too much time around the perimeter and not enough time in the paint. Hickson is at his best when he's aggressive and attacking the basket, not shooting 14-foot jumpers.

* One of the reasons Scott wanted to keep Hickson at the center position was because of how effective he has been there, even against bigger bodies. But the combination of the 6-9 Hickson and the 6-9 Samuels was apparently too small for his liking.

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