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Cleveland Cavaliers

Ryan Hollins' play upsets Byron Scott, backup center job wide open

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 21, 2011

After Ryan Hollins fouled out of Tuesday's preseason loss to the Pistons, he was greeted by an irritated coach Byron Scott who chewed him out after a poor fourth quarter. Hollins had three turnovers and four fouls in the quarter, angering Scott and leaving open the debate over who will back up Anderson Varejao at center.

Samardo Samuels played well last Friday, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds in the win over the Pistons. He went to the free-throw line 16 times and is perhaps the strongest player on the team, but is undersized at 6-foot-9. Hollins is a true 7-footer with great athleticism, but Scott said his emotions sometimes hurt the team.

"When he picked up his sixth foul, I was yelling at him to relax," Scott said. "I tried to tell him afterwards he has to understand the time and situations. You don't want to stop the clock and give them two free throws and take yourself out of the game completely. I was a little heated up abaout that and I think he understands, especially a sixth-year veteran, you can't make those types of mistakes. You have to use your head a little more out there."

In other news...
Anderson Varejao likes what he sees in Tristan Thompson because, well, he seems himself. Varejao looks at Thompson's motor and willingness to defend and go after loose balls and Andy sees a little Wild Thing in him.

"I like his game. He reminds me of me," Varejao said. "He goes after every loose ball, always playing hard. I told him, ‘Play the game. The offense will come.’

Varejao didn't know much about Kyrie Irving coming out of college because he's not big into college basketball. But he likes what he's seen so far out of the top pick. Irving has already shown an ability to break down a defense and get inside, making the Cavs' bigs always on alert for passes they're not expecting.

"He's a smart point guard," Varejao said. "He sees things that other players don't see."

Scott said he'll sit down individually with Irving and Ramon Sessions before naming a starting point guard, but doesn't believe it will be a big issue as to who starts so long as both play.

"I believe both of them are going to be very good for us," Scott said. "I think they’ll both play major minutes. It’s a nice dilemma to have when you have two very good point guards."

Scott is still counting on Semih Erden to be a big factor this season, but concedes his rash of injuries is concerning. Erden had shoulder and groin injuries last season and is now dealing with a broken thumb that will sideline him until 2012.

"The injury part is a concern," Scott said. "He said it was bad luck that he keeps getting hurt. I said luck has to change sooner or later. I’m thinking and hoping for his sake it does this year. Hopefully it’s the last injury he has for awhile. He has to start drinking more milk. What is he 23 years old? Needs to get those bones stronger."

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