Pregame dribbles: LeBron out vs. Blazers, doubtful for Friday
Tipoff: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, 7 p.m. EST.
Records: Cavaliers 26-20; Trail Blazers 32-12.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio. Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 FM La Mega, AM 1590 WAKR (Akron)
Trail Blazers: C Chris Kaman; PF LaMarcus Aldridge; SF Nicolas Batum; SG Wesley Matthews; PG Damian Lillard.
Cavaliers: C Timofey Mozgov; PF Kevin Love; SF Shawn Marion; SG J.R. Smith; PG Kyrie Irving.
Cavaliers: SF LeBron James (wrist) questionable. C Anderson Varejao (Achilles) out.
Trail Blazers: SF Nicolas Batum (wrist) questionable. C Joel Freeland (shoulder) out. Robin Lopez (hand) out.
1. Clearly, the biggest news wasn’t known until just before tipoff — when it was determined LeBron James would not play. James took a hard fall in Tuesday’s win at the Pistons, hurting his wrist. While it’s nothing serious, James is dealing with lingering soreness.
2. Cavs coach David Blatt said, "He’s sore and we’re gauging that. We’re gauging how he’s going to feel even up to game time."
3. Following the Pistons game, I asked LeBron if the wrist was bothering him. He said it was fine, that it only experienced some pain at first. He suspected, however, that it might be sore Wednesday.
4. An MRI Wednesday revealed a sprain in that wrist, which will keep James out vs. the Blazers and doubtful for Friday’s game against Sacramento.
5. Obviously, this is a different beast for the Cavs with James not playing. They’re 25-12 with him in the lineup. They’re 1-8 without. And this isn’t just any old opponent. It’s the Blazers, who are fighting for the No. 1 spot in the mighty West.
6. Either way, the Cavs will be looking to avenge a loss at Portland in the third game of the season.
7. The difference between then and now? " We’ve come very, very far," James said after the win at Detroit. "It’s part of the reason we kind of turned the corner for our season. Not saying it’s going to result in a win every night, but as far as professionals, we’re starting to understand what it means to be a professional daily."
8. The Cavs have won seven straight and are 7-1 since James returned from an eight-game absence with a knee and back strain. They are 20-1 when scoring at least 102 points, including a 12-0 mark when it happens at home.
9. While the Cavs were playing the Pistons on Wednesday, the Blazers were practicing at the Cleveland Clinic Courts. They’ve been off since Saturday, as their game at Brooklyn on Monday was postponed due to the threat of weather.