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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Pacers at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 15, 2012
Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) shoots through the defense of Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, in Chicago. The Pacers won 95-90. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Indiana Pacers (17-11) at Cleveland Cavaliers (10-16)
Time: 7:30 p.m.; Venue: The Q; TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WTAM, WAKR, WHBC
Cavs probables: PG Kyrie Irving 18.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.1 apg), SG Daniel Gibson (8.1, 3.0, 2.1), SF Omri Casspi (7.8, 2.9, 1.3), PF Antawn Jamison (16.8, 6.1, 1.7), C Semih Erden (2.1, 1.9, 0.1)
Pacers probables: PG Darren Collison (11.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.4 apg), SG Paul George (12.1, 5.5, 2.1), SF Dahntay Jones (5.5, 1.8, 0.9), PF David West 12.4, 6.7, 2.3), C Roy Hibbert (13.1, 9.4, 1.8)
Injury report: Cavs -- Anderson Varejao (wrist) out, Anthony Parker (back) out; Pacers -- Jeff Foster (back) questionable, Danny Granger (ankle) doubtful, George Hill (ankle) out.
Officials: Greg Willard, Brian Forte, Matt Myers

* Kyrie Irving has been medically cleared and will be in the starting lineup tonight after missing the last week with a concussion. The Cavs went 1-2 without him and are thrilled to have him back.

* Irving and Anderson Varejao were dynamite running pick-and-rolls and it will be interesting to see how the Cavs replace that. Byron Scott said Irving will have to run the majority of them (about 75 percent) with Antawn Jamison. It's a whole different dynamic, though. While Jamison can certainly get to the basket, he would be classified as more of a pick-and-pop player rather than pick-and-roll. Scott said he can't be the only player Irving uses, though, and that guys like Samardo Samuels, Semih Erden and Ryan Hollins will have to be involved in the pick-and-roll game as well. Something to watch tonight and in the coming weeks.

* The Pacers are a mess right now. They've dropped four straight, they're playing their second of a three-games-in-three-nights stretch and they'll likely be without their leading scorer. Danny Granger sprained his ankle Tuesday night against the Heat and Pacers coach Frank Vogel said after the game he didn't expect Granger to be ready to face the Cavs.

* Granger has been a Cavs killer throughout his career, averaging 19.8 points and 6.1 rebounds against them. He's averaging 18 points a game this season. His loss is crippling to a team that is 2-5 over its last seven games (all against teams .500 or above) and fell behind by 35 last night against the Heat.

* The Pacers are reeling and lifeless, they're playing terrible defensively and most importantly they're tumbling down the Eastern Conference standings.

* As badly as the Pacers have played, they'll have a huge advantage in the middle tonight with Roy Hibbert against Semih Erden. Erden has been prone to foul trouble and could have a short night against Hibbert, who is heading to his first All-Star game next weekend.

* Anthony Parker is making progress with his strained lower back and Scott is hopeful he could be back playing in games next week.

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