GameDay Preview: Cavs at Heat

CJ Miles
Issac Baldizon/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold wrap up their two-game Florida road trip tonight in Miami against the Heat at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (9-13) has won a season-high three straight and five of their last six after pulling out a 109-100 victory at Orlando last night. Kyrie Irving led the way with 31 points while Dion Waiters added 21 off the bench.

Miami (16-6) has dropped three of five after falling 90-84 at Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers this past Tuesday.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Andrew Bynum

Heat: PG - Mario Chalmers, SG - Dwyane Wade, SF - Shane Battier
PF - LeBron James, C - Chris Bosh

Injuries: (Cavs) - None to Report

(Heat) - None to Report

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The two teams last met on November 27th with the Heat coming away with a 95-84 victory at The Q. Dion Waiters paced Cleveland with 24 points.

Cleveland is 39-53 all-time against Miami including a 26-20 record while playing in their own arena (13-33 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Taking Care of the Basketball

Miami comes into the game averaging 102.6 points per game and much of their offense is predicated on converting turnovers into fastbreak opportunities.

As a result, the Wine and Gold must protect the basketball on the offensive end in an effort to limit the amount of run outs by the Heat.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

The Wine and Gold will need fresh legs at all times to keep up with the Heat's up-tempo style of play. Cleveland reserves are going to play a key role in tonight's game especially since the Cavaliers are on the heels of a back-to-back.

The Cavaliers second unit came up big last night in Orlando, outscoring the Magic reserves 60-28. On the season, Cleveland's bench is now averaging 39.0 points (5th-best in the NBA).

Furthermore, the Cavs reserves have outscored their opponent’s bench in 17 of 22 contests. Cleveland’s opponents are averaging 29.7 bench points (6th-lowest in the league).

In the first regular season meeting between the two teams on Nov. 27 at The Q, the Cavs had a 58-32 advantage in bench points, led by Dion Waiters who finished with 24 points on 7-14 (.500) shooting, six rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 219

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.

Be sure to check for Joe Gabriele's live in-game blog providing instant analysis and game notes. Plus, get into the discussion as die-hard Cavs fans talk about the game on CavFanatic's GameDay Thread.

Programming Note

Tonight, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Heat game (7:30 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Blues game (7:00 p.m.). CLICK HERE for more info.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs will head back to The Q on Tuesday, December 17th to square off against the Portland Trail Blazers at 7:00 p.m. ET.