LAST TIME OUT
The Cleveland Cavaliers won their first road game since mid-November against the struggling Orlando Magic, cracking 100 points for the first time in that same time span. After a slow start, Cleveland picked things up over the last three quarters of the game, securing their third straight victory. Cleveland will stay in Florida for one more day of sun before returning home, as they match up with the Miami Heat for the second time this season.
THIS TIME UP
The Opponent: Miami Heat
Record: 16-6 (9-2 home)
Tipoff: Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. – American Airlines Arena
Where you can watch: Fox Sports Ohio/NBA League Pass
Where you can listen: WTAM 1100
Previous Matchup: 95-84 Cavaliers loss at Quicken Loans Arena – Nov. 27
Opponent’s Blog: All U Can Heat
Heat: SF Michael Beasley (OUT, hamstring)
Let’s Ditch The LeBron-Cleveland Narrative Once And For All
I know site co-editor Chris Manning and everyone who participated in the 3 vs. 3 Fastbreak agree with me that it’s embarrassing when fans make campaigns to bring back a player that probably won’t leave one of the best situations in the NBA next season. Are you guys watching the development of Chris Bosh this year? His range has really helped turn Miami’s “Big Three” into an an even more dangerous threat as a whole. LeBron is playing a game of chess out there, making all the right moves to make all of the players around him better, and Bosh is the best example of how he has done that this season. This team is getting proficiently greater at passing each and every game, and that’s because guys are becoming more comfortable with each other. Why would Bron want to start over? This is an annoying narrative that ESPN tried—somewhat successfully—to amp up when the Heat visited Cleveland at the end of November. Staph. Even if it does by some slim chance happen or come close to happening, sounding and acting desperate isn’t going to make the situation any better.
Brown Is Set On Waiters Coming Off The Bench
That seems to be the role he’s putting Waiters in permanently. Why else would he have opted to have Sergey Karasev and Matthew Dellavedova start over him on a few occasions? I think this will eventually lead to the former Syracuse shooting guard being traded, as whenever Dion was hitting his stride in the Orlando game, Kyrie was on the bench. Brown likes to have Andrew Bynum and Irving be the high-volume shooters to start off the game, and having Waiters on the court with those two to begin things would take shots away from both of those guys. C.J. Miles is way too inconsistent to be a long-term starter at the 2 obviously, so that’s what leads me to think that Waiters, who is still young and still has high trade value because of his ceiling, will most likely be moved to find someone who can co-exist beside Kyrie. So Waiters will continue to come off of the bench, and I think that this will be an advantage for the Cavs against the Heat because of the edge he’s been bringing to the court these past few weeks. And remember, Waiters had one of his best games of the season against the Heat last time around (24/6/3, 50 FG%).
Frontcourt Can’t Go AWOL
Yeah, so Tristan Thompson and Bynum combined to shoot 18.8 percent in the previous matchup with the Heat, and that’s where many see the Cavaliers as having an advantage over Miami. It’s not like Chris Bosh had a tremendous game by any means, because it was mostly LeBron who completely dominated the Cleveland bigs in the paint; almost by his lonesome. With Kyrie’s recent hot streak, I think the Cavs will have a better overall performance in this one offensively. In no way am I saying the Wine & Gold will come away with a W, but as we’ve seen over the past couple games, Irving’s touch is back; at least I believe it is. Let’s hope for a lot of Bynum involvement early on. Make the Heat bang bodies down low. That’s their best chance at victory.
I think we’ll see a much better offensive performance out of the Cavaliers than the 84 points they put up last time, but the Heat could’ve put up 100-plus if they wanted to on Nov. 27. The Cavs will cover the 12.5 spread, but I don’t see them pulling off two road victories in a row.