CLEVELAND Teams

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It's 'surreal' - Lebron closing in on Shaq's record (0:29)
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LeBron humbled to be nearing Shaq's scoring record (0:29)

ESPN Stats and Information  

The Cavaliers can clinch the Central division title with a win over the Hornets on Friday, and a loss by the Pacers. Cleveland has lost two of its last three and is just one game ahead of the surging Celtics for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

Watching tape on Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore -- Really impressed with his ability to use multiple techniques in coverage. Lattimore can physically challenge receivers in press (quick hands), bail at the snap (open and stack on the route), switch to a "taxi" technique (inch-off/shuffle with shoulders square) and also play from an off-man position (pedal and break). Plus, Lattimore shows the closing speed (4.36 40-yard dash) to drive on the ball. He has the core fundamentals and athletic skill set that NFL secondary coaches want at the position.

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

Cleveland has a stretch of three games in four nights starting on the road tonight in Charlotte, at home Saturday vs. Washington and finishing on the road Monday in San Antonio. Per NBA commissioner Adam Silver's recent memo, teams should consult their owners if they plan to sit players. What will Cavs coach Ty Lue do this stretch? "We'll see when we get there," he said. What would happen if Lue wanted to rest guys and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert thought otherwise? "It's his team," Lue said, "he can do what he wants."

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cavs say that Larry Sanders, called up from the Canton Charge, was brought to Charlotte just to be around the team more so than to play against the Hornets. He had been down in the D-League for nearly a week while the Cavs were on their road trip and team management just wanted him to get a chance to get reacquainted with his new teammates.

Marc Stein ESPN Senior Writer 

Staring at about six screens trying to figure out how the Nets have more wins in this mad, mad March (six) than the Cavaliers (five) ...

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LeBron's 'toughness' comments a cause for alarm (1:20)
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Windhorst says LeBron's defense has been 'horrific' (2:04)
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Can poor defense keep the Cavs from repeating? (2:10)

ESPN Stats and Information  

FiveThirtyEight has dropped the Cavaliers' chances for the top seed in the East to around 45 percent, after nearing 80 percent at the beginning of March. The Celtics now have the best chance for the top seed at 54 percent.

ESPN Stats and Information  

The Cavs are currently 22nd in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Last season's team ranked 10th in the metric, tied with the 2005-06 Heat for the second-worst by a NBA champion in the last 20 seasons.

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Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

Ohio State safety and projected first-round pick Malik Hooker still wasn't physically cleared to participate at Pro Day. So what did he do and what questions has he faced about his offseason surgery?