MIAMI FL - JANUARY 31: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat takes a shot against Samardo Samuels #24 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during a game at American Airlines Arena on January 31 2011 in Miami Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Well, it's about that time again. The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Miami to take on the Heat in front of their raucous, passionate, diehard fan base. Could get ugly, could get really fun; we'll see.
Song Of The Day: Walkin' On The Sun - Smashmouth
Cleveland Cavaliers (6-9) at Miami Heat (11-5)
Just your regular, everyday matchup between two teams, right? Well, it depends who you ask. There are some people on the shores of Lake Erie that don't really care much for the small forward of the Miami Heat and I am one of them. I don't like him, I think he's an asshole, but I've moved on. This year, we've got our own team to worry about. Although they've hit a rough patch, the Cavaliers are much improved from a year ago and much of that has to do with Kyrie Irving. The time for looking back and wondering what could have been is finished; it's over. From now on, we're looking forward to what this Cavs team can be in a year or two. Build through the draft and gather a core of several high quality players that work together as a team. The next time the Cavs are competing for the playoffs and championships, it will be because of a team effort that is not dependent on one player. That way, if said player suddenly decides to quit on the team, it doesn't all fall apart.
Tonight, the Cavs visit the Heat and the biggest thing that Byron Scott has stressed is turnovers. The Heat are one of the most dangerous teams in the league when you let them get into the open court and score in transition. Dwyane Wade will not play tonight, but they are still a damn good team without him. Chris Bosh will be a nightmare for Antawn Jamison. However, if we go back to when the Cavs beat Miami at the end of last season, you remember that Ryan Hollins was able to completely frustrate Bosh and get under his skin. Hollins has been out of the rotation for the past several games now, so it will be interesting to see if Scott decides to utilize him based on past results.
I'm not sure if Tristan Thompson (ankle) will play tonight, but I'll let you know as soon as I find out. As of right now he is listed as questionable and probably won't play, but we'll see.
With Wade out, that should make things relatively easier for the Cavs considering how thin they are at shooting guard. Daniel Gibson is back after missing the last game for personal reasons and Anthony Parker is playing, but obviously not 100% with an ailing back. Luckily for them, neither will have the near-impossible duty of trying to defend Wade. It will be up to Alonzo Gee and Omri Casspi, however, to defend Miami's small forward. This is probably not going to be easy and could get really really ugly.
I know that losing is the best thing for the Cavs right now (getting a higher draft pick and whatnot), but I really want to win this game. I mean, I still want to win every game, but this one in particular...for some reason.
Cleveland: T. Thompson - questionable (ankle)
Miami: D. Wade - out (ankle), E. Curry - questionable (fat)
Norris Cole vs. Kyrie Irving
This is kind of a cool storyline, eh? Cole was the star player at Cleveland State last year, was drafted in the first round by the Heat and gets considerable minutes because Miami has such a bad point guard situation. I kind of expect Irving to dominate this matchup because he's just better, but it will be interesting nonetheless. As I said before, the Cavs need to virtually eliminate all turnovers and that starts with Kyrie.
I think this video needed to be added because it's freaking awesome.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Screw it, I'm going for it. The Cavs will NOT lie down and die like they did the first time these two teams played last year. Instead, Kyrie and company come out with something to prove and take down the Heat by a score of 94-92. The small forward for the Heat misses a potentially game dying shot after dribbling down the 24-second clock and taking an off-balanced jumper.