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Shorthanded Cavs lack rebounding, passing ability in 113-105 loss to surging Portland; Three takeaways

Change of plans

The original reports indicated that Ante Zizic would start at center, and Hood would come off the bench on a minutes restriction. Lue decided to change his mind, opting to swap the two players hours before tipoff.

Zizic had 11 and 15 points in his past two games, both career-best marks that figured to propel him to the starting five in place of Nance Jr. Instead, he logged six minutes of action, going 0-for-1 from the field with two blocks and zero points.

As a 6-foot-11 rim protector, Zizic is still developing from a prospect to a rotational player. His late scratch from the starting lineup is a testament to this process, as veterans like Green and a recovering Hood are more likely to get the nod when facing championship-caliber competition.

Simply put, Zizic missed a valuable opportunity to fill the void left by Love, Thompson and Nance Jr.

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John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (jalfes18@jcu.edu).

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