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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Sixers at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 11, 2012

Philadelphia 76ers (18-9) at Cleveland Cavaliers (10-15)
Time: 7:30 p.m.; Venue: Quicken Loans Arena; TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WTAM, WAKR, WHBC
Cavs probables: PG Ramon Sessions, SG Daniel Gibson, SF Omri Casspi, PF Antawn Jamison, C Anderson Varejao
Sixers probables: PG Jrue Holliday, SG Jodie Meeks, SF Andre Iguodala, PF Elton Brand, C Nik Vucevic
Injuries: Cavs -- Kyrie Irving (concussion) out, Anthony Parker (back) out, Anderson Varejao (wrist) questionable; Sixers -- Spencer Hawes (Achilles) out.
Officials: Bill Kennedy, Brent Barnaky, Zach Zarba

* With no shootaround this morning, Anderson Varejao's status won't be updated until he arrives at the arena tonight and team trainers can examine his injured right wrist again. Varejao injured the wrist early in the third quarter Friday and did not return, although X-rays were negative.

* The loss of Varejao for any extended amount of time is obviously crushing. He is the most active post player on the roster and he's the best offensive rebounder in the league, averaging an NBA-best 4.5 offensive rebounds per game.

* In case you haven't noticed, the Cavs aren't exactly a prolific team offensively. A bulk of their points come from second chances based off Varejao's hustle. If he can't play, coach Byron Scott would likely choose between Ryan Hollins and Semih Erden to start in his place. Pick your poison.

* Erden has played a total of 14 minutes in the last four games. Hollins has played 26 minutes in the last eight games. Both have irritated Scott at times this season, so it could be an interesting decision.

* His missed free throws at the end of regulation Friday were key to the Cavs' loss, but Antawn Jamison is playing like a 25 year old instead of a 35 year old. Jamison has set season highs in each of the last three games and is doing his best to cover for the loss of Kyrie Irving.

* Jamison is averaging 28.7 points and a staggering 39 minutes in the last three games. It's hard to imagine Jamison's body surviving such heavy minutes for much longer. He keeps himself in fantastic shape, but he has a history of knee injuries and now his Achilles has been flaring up lately.

* Three guys played more than 42 minutes on Friday and now the Cavs must come back and play again tonight. Ramon Sessions, like Jamison, has been carrying a heavy load in Irving's absence. Sessions didn't shoot particularly well Friday, but he had 16 assists and now has 29 assists in his last two games. The more the Lakers watch Derek Fisher and the longer Sessions starts, the more of a fit a Sessions to the Lakers deal seems.

* I was a little surprised Scott didn't throw newly signed Ben Uzoh into the game Friday just for a couple of minutes. Granted, he just signed earlier in the day and spent pregame in the locker room getting a crash course on the Cavs' system by assistant coach Joe Prunty, but Sessions logged 45 minutes last night. Scott may have little choice but to use Uzoh at least for a short stretch or two tonight.

* Tristan Thompson quietly had a pretty good night in his return from an ankle injury. Thompson isn't Varejao in the middle, but he had 13 rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes. Thompson entered the game when Varejao departed with nine minutes left in the third quarter and played the rest of the game -- including the entire overtime period.

* The Sixers have lost consecutive games for the first time this season, but they still have the third-best record in the East behind Chicago and Miami.

* Sixers small forward Andre Iguodala, a target of the Cavs when they were contending a few years ago, was selected to his first All-Star game. Iguodala is averaging 13 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists. Decent numbers, but hardly the best of his career. Iguodala clearly benefited from the Sixers' standing in the East.

* Sixers point guard Jrue Holliday gave the Cavs fits last season, averaging 17.3 points and 8.5 assists in three games. He's averaging about 14 points and 5 assists this season.

* The Sixers have won two straight in this series, but haven't won three in a row over the Cavs in six years.

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