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Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat gamethread

It’s a key game for the Cavs in South Beach.

Houston Rockets v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

It’s a key Cleveland Cavaliers game on a Friday night in South Beach.

One key thing to watch for the Cavs is their energy level from the opening tip. Cleveland has had two days off since they last played — their Tuesday night road win against the Indiana Pacers — and have been in Miami for a few days. For a team that is injured and has its best players playing heavy minutes, a few days off in warm weather probably has felt nice.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat expected starters

Cavaliers expected starters Heat expected starters
Cavaliers expected starters Heat expected starters
Guard: Darius Garland Guard: Kyle Lowery
Guard: Isaac Okoro Guard: Duncan Robinson
Forward: Lauri Markannen Forward: Jimmy Butler
Forward: Dean Wade Forward: P.J. Tucker
Center: Evan Mobley Center: Bam Adebayo

There’s also a key standings aspect to this. Miami is at the top of the East — two games up on the second-seeded Milwaukee Bucks — and the Cavs are five games back in sixth place. But if the Cavs have designs on making a run at the fourth or fifth seed (the Bulls and Celtics, respectively) then this is a game that would be helpful to win. Entering Friday, Cleveland is a game back of Boston and 1.5 games back of Chicago. Who, by the way, the Cavs play tomorrow.