Cleveland Cavaliers to sit LeBron James, Kyrie Irving tonight

The Cleveland Cavaliers are counting on their depth carrying them tonight in Miami (7:30 ET, NBA LEAGUE PASS). Or, perhaps the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff chase doesn’t mean as much to the Cavs as the preservation of and rest for their biggest stars does.

How else do you explain the decision to sit LeBron James and Kyrie Irving with the top spot, and home court advantage in the playoffs, still up for grabs?

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com has more:

James played 47 minutes in a stunning, epic collapse of a loss in a 126-125 decision in overtime to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Irving logged 45.

The Cavs are planning to start J.R. Smith, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, and Deron Williams against the Heat, who need to win to keep pace with the Bulls for the eighth seed.

Cleveland’s lineup listed above was posted as part of the team’s media notes for tonight’s game and is subject to change.

Cleveland is tied for first with Boston. The Celtics play the Brooklyn Nets tonight.

Their recent struggles aside, it’s clear the Cavaliers remain confident in their ability to flip the switch in the postseason.