The Cavaliers schedule is entering a more difficult stretch after a 5-3 run against the league’s tankiest teams. The Cavaliers are forced to play spoilers, and are set to square off with the Miami Heat on Friday night. Miami’s currently hanging onto the 8th seed by a thread, only a game up on the Magic and Hornets while riding a three-game winning streak. With so little time left, every win counts.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (16-49) vs. Miami Heat (30-34)
When: 8:00 p.m. EST
Where: American Airlines Arena — Miami, Florida
Enemy Blog: Hot Hot Hoops
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Online: Fox Sports GO, NBA League Pass
Cavs status updates: Tristan Thompson (OUT - foot soreness), John Henson (OUT - wrist), J.R. Smith (NWT), Ante Zizic (QUESTIONABLE- concussion), Matthew Dellavedova (OUT - concussion)
Heat status updates: Goran Dragic(OUT - Calf)
Cavs expected starting lineup: Collin Sexton, Brandon Knight, Cedi Osman, Kevin Love, Larry Nance, Jr.
Heat expected starting lineup: Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo
Three Keys to the Game
1. No Delly, some problems
Matthew Dellavedova is out with a concussion, and it’s not fair to say that the Cavs can’t win without him, but his absence is normally conspicuous. He’s one of the few guards on the Cavaliers that is consistently able to get the team into their sets and move the ball on time and on target, and could be a pest against Miami’s active scoring guards.
They’ll miss him in this one.
2. Will Dion shoot Miami out of the game?
Dion actually helped Miami separate from the Cavs the last time these two teams played with a few timely buckets, but he hasn’t changed from the gunner he used to be. He’s had two games of 2-9 shooting and 2-10 shooting in Miami’s last three, and he always relishes going up against his former team.
If the Cavs can bait him into some bad shots, they can stay close.
3. The Young Guns need to be better
Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman were pretty rough in the Cavaliers loss to the Nets on Wednesday. The duo combined for 6-23 shooting from the field and never found any sort of rhythm. Its okay if this team wins, but it really should be on the backs of the play of their young core.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavaliers are going to have a tough time in this one. Heat win this one 112-104.