Feb 17, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) guards Cleveland Cavaliers player Kyrie Irving during a game at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat (52-14) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (22-45) Preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers started a rough stretch of games Monday night with the Indiana Pacers and tonight it continues with the Miami Heat. If you haven’t turned on a TV recently, the Heat are on a bit of a winning streak, 23 games to be exact.  The 23-game winning streak is second best in NBA history, only behind the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers who won 33-straight games.  The Cavs will have the tough task of stopping this Miami winning streak without their two leading scorers.

Opponent’s Blog: All You Can Heat
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena
Tipoff: Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m.
Betting Line: Heat by -11.5
Where you can watch: Fox Sports Ohio
Where you can listen: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)

Dion Waiters played the entire first quarter Monday night against the Pacers, but never returned to the game after that.  He was diagnosed with a knee injury.  He is expected to miss at least a week, but if he needs surgery to repair it, then he will be out for the remainder of the year.  Waiters joins the injury list of Kyrie Irving, who averages 23 points per game, and Anderson Varejao who averaged 14.1 points per game before suffering a knee injury then being treated for a blood clot which ended his season.

Despite the team injuries, coach Byron Scott is confident heading into tonight’s matchup.  The two previous games between these two teams have been close, and the Cavs have held leads in the fourth quarter, only to blow it in the final minutes.  The Cavs’ two losses against the Heat have come by a total of six points.

The player formerly known as 23 makes his first appearance in Cleveland this year.  Each time he returns to Quicken Loans Arena, the “boo birds” reduce each time he gets introduced; that trend is expected to continue.

A matchup the Cavs will look to go to often will be between Tristan Thompson and Udonis Haslem.  With all the injuries Cleveland is facing, this might be the only positional battle they have an advantage at.  In his last 10 games, Thompson has averaged 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.  Haslem is averaging less than four points per game.  Thompson will have to be involved in the offense early and often if the Cavs want any chance in this game.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers. Miami Heat Kyrie Irving Lebron James

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