Apr 14, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers (right) talks with referee Josh Tiven (left) during the second half against the Chicago Bulls at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 105-93. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers (24-56) vs. Miami Heat (64-16) Preview

On fan appreciation night at Quicken Loans Arena, the Cleveland Cavaliers will take on a Miami Heat team that will likely be without their Big Three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. And while that will likely take the fun out of the game for fans looking for see James live (and heckle him), this does make the game more winnable for the Cavaliers. But that comes with a double-edged sword. A win means that the Cavaliers will lessen their chances of getting the No. 1 pick, which they currently have a 13.8 percent chance of winning.

Opponent’s Blog: All U Can Heat

Venue: Quicken Loans Arena

Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET

Betting Line: Cavaliers by -1

Where you can watch: Fox Sports Ohio

Where you can listen: WTAM (1100), WFUN (970 AM)

For the Cavaliers, this game is about redeeming themselves after their awful effort in Philadelphia. The loss was so bad that Coach Byron Scott had the entire team come out this morning and work out – even though they are going to be playing a back-to-back and have dealt with a wide variety of injuries this season. It’s clear that Scott thinks that this team was at its weakest on Sunday, and I happen to agree. This team lost to a woeful Sixers team by 14 and it was never once competitive.

I can understand if the players think the season is worthless at this point because of all the losses and the guaranteed lottery pick but that does not excuse the effort put forth yesterday.

Tonight against the Heat, the best player on the opposing team will be Mario Chalmers. He’s a solid NBA point guard – no question about it – but he is by no means a star in the league. He’s at his best playing on a team like the Heat where he can fill a niche and score when called upon. But he’s not a game-changing talent who can carry the franchise. And I guarantee you if the Heat had the option of having Chalmers or Kyrie Irving as their starting point guard, they would choose Irving 100 percent of the time

And so, this is a game the Cavaliers should win. They have the best player (Irving) and a lot of quality players that should be able to at least match the Heat’s reserve starters. Players like Tristan Thompson, C.J. Miles and even Tyler Zeller should have solid nights tonight against his depleted Heat squad. This is one of those games where if the Cavaliers are going to move forward, they need to at least put forth a solid effort.

And this is, as I mentioned above, fan appreciation night. It’s the last home game of the season for a fan base that has had to watch horrendous basketball for months now. There have been injures galore, rumors of the coach’s demise and more. It’s been one of those years that no fan wants to have. At least for tonight, maybe the Cavaliers can show the city that there is hope for next year.


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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving Miami Heat

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