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LeBron James returns to Cleveland. This isn't as big of a story line as it used to be, but it's still a big deal. The Heat are on a huge winning streak and the Cavs have a chance to stop it. Can they pull off the upset?
The Heat are streaking. The Cavs have a chance to make them put their clothes back on. Is there anyway that Cleveland pulls off this big time upset? It would be really cool, but I have my doubts.
When? 7:00 PM Eastern
Where? Quicken Loans Arena -- Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Tickets? Cleveland Cavaliers tickets
This game could have been a really cool story. The Heat's streak is at 23 games and LeBron James returns to his old team. He used to wear #23. The Cavs could stop the streak and the number would be neat. Kyrie Irving would lead the Cavs to an upset victory and everybody in Cleveland would be like "yeah see we don't need you LeBrick!!11"
Except everybody on the Cavs got injured. Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and Anderson Varejao are all hurt which leaves the Cavs incredibly shorthanded. Any notion that an upset was brewing got thrown out the window once I looked at the Cavs' probable starting lineup for tonight. It will look something like this.
PG: Shaun Livingston
SG: Wayne Ellington
SF: Alonzo Gee
PF: Tristan Thompson
C: Tyler Zeller
Uh, yeah good luck with that.
We recorded a podcast last night and talked about the three ways that this game could unfold. The first is the obvious 30-point blowout win for Miami. The second is the hard-fought moral victory loss that ends with LeBron going supernova on our faces. And the third is the super unlikely upset win powered by 15 assists from Luke Walton an 14 three-pointers from C.J. Miles. We'll see what happens, but it just doesn't seem like there's much of a chance for these injured Cavs. If this team was full-strength, I'd be pretty confident that a crazy crowd and hyped up bench unit could stun the South Beachers. But now that our bench unit has become our starting unit, I don't feel so good.
Miami is currently working on the second longest winning streak in NBA history. That's a lot. That would lead you to believe that this is by FAR the best regular season team that LeBron has ever played on, right? Meh. The Heat have 14 losses already and although they haven't lost in a long time, they'd still need to lose just one game for the rest of the season in order to top the 2008-09 Cleveland Cavaliers' 66-16 season. That Cavs team had a net rating of +10.3 and this Heat team has a net rating of +9.4. Pretty crazy to think about how good those teams were despite the fact that LeBron was playing with a bunch of guys in wheelchairs -- or at least that's what ESPN told me.
If you go to the Q tonight, let me know what the atmosphere is like. I doubt it will be as hateful as the first time LeBron came back, but I also doubt there will be many cheers. If you cheer for LeBron, you're basically a dunce. But that's just one man's opinion.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction
I don't think this is very bold, but I expect Miami to cruise. It will be an amped up atmosphere but in the end, talent wins out. Heat win 109-94.