GameDay Preview: Cavs at Heat
The Cleveland Cavaliers (3-9) continue their three-game road trip tonight as they head to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat (9-3) at 7:30 p.m.
The Wine and Gold will look to bounce back from last night's 108-104 loss to the Orlando Magic while the Heat are hoping to extend their winning streak to four games.
With Kyrie Irving still sidelined, rookie Dion Waiters leads the Cavaliers in scoring at 14.8 points per game. Anderson Varejao notched his seventh double-double of the season last night tallying 19 points and 17 rebounds. On the season, Varejao is averaging a career-high 14.4 points on .520 shooting, 14.0 rebounds (2nd in NBA), 3.2 assists and 1.27 steals in 35.6 minutes per game.
Miami, the league's defending champions, are led by their "Big Three" of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The trio is averaging a combined 62.9 points per game, the highest scoring trio in the league.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Jeremy Pargo, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao
Heat: PG - Mario Chalmers, SG - Dwyane Wade, SF - Shane Battier
PF - LeBron James, C - Chris Bosh/strong>
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Magic, 39-48, posting a 26-17 mark in games played at home with the Heat hold a 31-13 advantage while playing in their own arena.
This will be the first of four contests between the Cavs and Heat this season. Last season, Miami swept the season series 3-0, and dating back to the 2010-11 season the Heat are 6-1.
Key to the Game/Key Matchup
Key to the GameTake Care of the Basketball
Miami comes into the game as the league's highest scoring team at just over 104 points per game. Much of their offense is predicated on converting turnovers into fastbreak opportunities. With an unconventional lineup, the Heat are extremely athletic at every position and can run the floor with the best of them.
Coming into tonight's contest, the Wine and Gold commit 16.25 turnovers per game (7th highest in the league). The Cavaliers must take better care of the basketball and keep fastbreak opportunities to a minimum.
Anderson Varejao vs. Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh has gotten off to an excellent start this season. In the Heat's last game on Wednesday, Bosh recorded 24 points and 18 rebounds. On the season, Bosh is averaging 20.0 points and 8.2 rebounds including a career-high .861 (62-of-72) from the free-throw line.
As mentioned, Varejao is having his best season as a pro, averaging career-highs in points and rebounds. Varejao is not only stuffing the stat sheet, but he is continuing to provide the intangibles. The Wild Thing's activity and defense on Bosh will be a key factor in tonight's game.
Where to Catch the Action