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Danny

Miami HEAT at Cleveland Cavaliers Official Game Thread and Preview

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(Photo Credit: David Liam Kyle)

The Miami HEAT look for their 65th win of the season tonight as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. In their last matchup the HEAT came back from a 27-point third quarter deficit on the road to grab the victory. Tip off is set for 7 PM; coverage on Sun Sports begins at 6:30 PM.

1: Did you learn anything from yesterday’s HEAT-Bulls game?

Couper Moorhead: As expected, the Bulls had to rely on some tough shots to stay in the game for most of the night, but really you notice just how much the Bulls rely on Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Even with Chicago playing smaller lineups for most of the night, theirs is a system that requires a steady big man roaming the paint – far more so than Miami’s defense – and without their two best bigs the Bulls were vulnerable at the rim. Rose’s absence hurts the offense, but the lack of Noah and Gibson can cripple a defense.

Danny Martinez: I learned that if you put Burnie in a big washing machine and add bleach he’ll become White Hot Burnie. As for the HEAT, I didn’t learn much. When Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade shared the floor they crushed the Bulls, which follows a season-long trend. The HEAT went without playing two bigs at once and as a result there was a bunch of space to be had. The undermanned Bulls just couldn’t keep up. If we learned anything it’s that HEAT’s key players are healthy enough to produce great returns, especially when played together. Any rust that may have been evident on Friday was gone by Sunday.

2: Who is expected to play tonight, and who could see more minutes as a result?

Couper: Udonis Haslem, Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier didn’t make the trip to Cleveland, so they won’t be playing, and LeBron James said that he doesn’t expect to play even though he was on the HEAT’s charter. There’s no reason to risk injury at this stage in the second night of a back-to-back, so this will be another night to enjoy the fine recent play of Norris Cole, the playmaking of Ray Allen and Mike Miller and the active presence of Joal Anthony.

Danny: Couper covered who’s likely out for tonight. It means we’ll see some of the lineups we saw the HEAT play against Washington, San Antonio and New York. With Battier and Haslem out though, I’d expect to see more Joel Anthony and Rashard Lewis. Lewis has been playing well and will get as much playing time as he can handle. Mike Miller, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole will also be leaned on heavily.

3: Is there anything else the HEAT should be watching for in the standings?

Couper: With the No. 1 overall seed locked up, the only thing to monitor are the games of Atlanta and Chicago. The Bulls trail the Hawks by one game in the standings with two games to play, and whoever finishes in front will face the Brooklyn Nets in the first round and, should Miami advance past Milwaukee, the HEAT in the second round.

Danny: In the East, everything but the fifth and sixth seeds is locked into place. The fifth seed is important to the HEAT because that team would be a possible second round opponent. The HEAT have had more regular season success against the Hawks, but should the Bulls get that fifth seed, it’s not a huge deal. Out West there are a lot of things up in the air, but there’s no reason for the HEAT to concern themselves with something that likely won’t have an impact on them.

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They pretty much tanking now

Bring out the 2nd unit especially that Varnado who?

Has that guy even played this season, what's his purpose <_<

Rather have Eddy Curry really for some hype and fun :lol:

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Another confidence builder for those 'LAUGHING CLOWNS'. Although the win will be magnificent, I'm more concerned about MIAMI's snipers getting in rhythm and NORRIS COLE continuing to develope. I just want the HEAT to come away healthy after the end of the day...with the win :lol:...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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Let them rest, no need to have them all in tonight , beside off that, you can see that this team is ready for the playoffs,.

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Let them rest, no need to have them all in tonight , beside off that, you can see that this team is ready for the playoffs,.

Wade, battier, U, are not playing. Lebron and boshtrich possibly playing? check out kkinsey guy on heat bulls recap talk. :)

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dion-waiters-popcorn.jpg

Instead of PopCorn, we will fill them with a rain of 3 !

James may play. coures he could drain some jumpers also. This was his court for 7 years he lived in that perimeter and saw glimps of those clutch 3's.

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@MiamiHEAT: Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade are not traveling with the team to Cleveland. They will not play in tomorrow night's #HEATgame.

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James' rebound dropped to 8.0 rpg. <_< Let him stand there on base line and grab some missed free throws. he's standing on the hoop all the time, then see one like ray hog the rebound. :huh: haslem or dwyane use to do this but ray?! :o The mvp should get more than 12.

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Ray Allen is preparing to make it rain !

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Instead of the usual questions :

Are you a better singer or a player ? or What is your favourite meal ?

I would love to ask Ray Allen, have you reduced your ritual warmup ? Doc Rivers wanted you to make it shorter ? What is the position of the Miami Heat Staff about it ?

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Heat Starters : Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis, Juwan Howard and Joel Anthony

And please dont bring me after the game Norris PER, much appreciate !

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They pretty much tanking now

Bring out the 2nd unit especially that Varnado who?

Has that guy even played this season, what's his purpose <_<

Rather have Eddy Curry really for some hype and fun :lol:

eddy curry played 2 games as a mav. saw him on spurs uniform watching preseason game. i prefer jarvis than joel to start. B)

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dunno what happened to eddy curry. saw him on spurs uniform watching preseason game. i prefer jarvis than joel to start. B)

He is playing in a China team, he is putting some good numbers (23 pts and 10 rebounds in 29mn)

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Heat Starters : Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis, Juwan Howard and Joel Anthony

And please dont bring me after the game Norris PER, much appreciate !

This might be the most entertaining game of the season. Juwan going to toy with these youngstas B)

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This might be the most entertaining game of the season. Juwan going to toy with these youngstas B)

Unfortunatly i am more afraid of him being dunked on ! But i will definitly watch that game! We will have a lot of pressure after that monster comeback last time, they didnt forget LOL

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Even if they are not playing tonight, Almario Chalmers, Chris Bosh and LeBron are still keeping the rythm by participating to the shootaround !

46338720130416000227.jpg

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Heat Starters : Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis, Juwan Howard and Joel Anthony

And please dont bring me after the game Norris PER, much appreciate !

This might be the most entertaining game of the season. Juwan going to toy with these youngstas B)

The youngstas going to toy with Juwan lol

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The youngstas going to toy with Juwan lol

Hey Old man, why havent you retired with Bill Russel and co ?

image022.jpg

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We have only as reserves : James Jones, Jarvis Varnado, Chris Andersen and Ray Allen (if he plays)

i would like to see a bit of Jarvis to pay back the youngstas dunking on Juwan !

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      Game Notes:
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      Efficiencies (Rank):
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      Joe: As Coup chronicled above, the Pacers look a whole lot different than they did a year ago. Case in point: Indiana started four new players against Portland on Friday (Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanović and Domantas Sabonis). Of course, Myles Turner would normally get the start at center, but he’s currently dealing with a concussion and sore neck. Even if he did start, there are still plenty of new guys that need to figure out how to play with one another.
      All these changes make this matchup with the Pacers pretty unpredictable. Coup already talked about how Indiana was slow throughout the preseason and then super fast against Brooklyn on Wednesday. Similarly, the Pacers were ranked in the top ten in defensive efficiency in the preseason, but tallied a 111.9 defensive rating versus the Nets. With a bunch of new pieces and the regular season in its infancy, it’s just too early to tell how Indiana will fare.
      3: With both Hassan Whiteside (knee) and Myles Turner (neck) out, how do you expect each team to adjust?
      Couper: The Pacers have said that Sabonis, a skilled big man with some stretch to his game, will start in place of Turner. As for Miami, you probably know by now that Spoelstra isn’t going to announce anything before he has to. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Bam Adebayo vault into the starting lineup given how Spoelstra typically replaces starters, often grabbing someone from deeper in the rotation so as to not destabilize the rest of his lineup card. But given how early it is, with few lineups actually set in stone, this might be an opportunity to experiment a little bit by starting Kelly Olynyk at center and possibly James Johnson or Justise Winslow (or even Okaro White) slotting in at power forward.
      Whoever ends up with more minutes in Whiteside’s absence, it won’t change how this team plays too much though you might see more handoff actions with Olynyk in place of the more traditional pick-and-rolls run with Whiteside.
      Joe: As I stated above, the Pacers rolled with Sabonis against the Trail Blazers on Friday.
      In terms of how the HEAT will adapt without Whiteside, I agree with Coup. I think that Coach Spo will slide Kelly Olynyk over to the center position and start either James Johnson or Justise Winslow at power forward. If you start Winslow, the Brothers Johnson can continue to come off the bench and do some damage. While you lose that dynamic if James Johnson starts, Winslow can also run the two-man game with Tyler Johnson. Luckily enough, the former Duke Blue Devil showed excellent court vision against the Magic on Wednesday.   
      As you can see, an argument can be made either way. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out.

      Highlights:
      March 12 – HEAT at Pacers
      Feb. 25 – Pacers at HEAT
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT have won four of five against the Pacers. Indiana is 1-1 on the season after falling to Portland on Friday night. Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) and Hassan Whiteside (left knee contusion) are out for Miami.  Myles Turner (concussion & sore neck) is out for the Pacers.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 97.8 (22) HEAT Defense: 108.7 (22) Pacers Offense: 110.0 (8) Pacers Defense: 112.6 (28)