Game 9: Pacers at Cavs
at Quicken Loans Arena
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: Everyone was convinced before the game that center Anderson Varejao would be in the lineup. It proved to be nothing more than rumor when Cavs athletic trainer Max Benton came out of the trainer's room and informed the public-relations staff that Varejao and guard Mo Williams would be inactive.
Williams' groin strain will keep him on the sidelines for at least a week, maybe more. He'll be missed, too, since Ramon Sessions is a bit limited offensively.
Ryan Hollins, who started at center with Varejao out, brings only a fraction of what Varejao offers on the defensive end. He was limited in the second half for the second consecutive game because of his pick-and-roll defense.
I picked the Pacers to finish in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. I believe they are one of the teams the Cavs must overtake to make the playoffs.
Judging by what I saw on Saturday, that's going to be difficult. It's not that the Pacers are world-beaters by any means, but they have way more offensive firepower than the Cavs.
SF Jamario Moon (6-8, 200) vs. Danny Granger (6-9, 228)
PF J.J. Hickson (6-9, 242) vs. Josh McRoberts (6-10, 240)
C Ryan Hollins (7-0, 240) vs. Roy Hibbert (7-2, 260)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Mike Dunleavy (6-9, 230)
PG Ramon Sessions (6-3, 190) vs. Darren Collison (6-0, 170)
Cavs - G Mo Williams, F/C Anderson Varejao, G Christian Eyenga.
Pacers - F/C Jeff Foster, G A.J. Price, G Lance Stephenson.
Joe Crawford, Karl Lane, Tom Washington