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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Heat (11-3) at Cavs (4-10)

By Jason Lloyd Published: November 27, 2013
LeBron James and the Heat enter Quicken Loans Arena tonight on a seven-game winning streak. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Time: 7:30 p.m.; Place: Quicken Loans Arena; TV/Radio: ESPN, FS Ohio/WTAM, WLEC, WAKR

Injury report: Cavs: C.J. Miles (calf) doubtful; Heat: None

Officials: Ed Malloy, Matt Boland, Michael Smith

Series: First meeting

Cavs probables

Name Ht, Wt Pts Rebs Asts
PG Kyrie Irving 6-3, 193 21.4 3.5 6.4
SG Matthew Dellavedova 6-4, 200 3.9 1.8 1.1
SF Alonzo Gee 6-6, 225 3.6 2.5 0.6
PF Tristan Thompson 6-9, 238 11.6 9.3 0.5
C Andrew Bynum 7-0, 285 6.9 3.6 1.0



Heat probables

Name Ht, Wt Pts Rebs Asts
PG Mario Chalmers 6-2, 190 9.8 2.7 4.9
SG Dwyane Wade 6-4, 220 18.0 4.7 5.7
SF LeBron James 6-8, 250 26.0 5.7 6.6
PF Udonis Haslem 6-8, 235 3.8 2.3 0.1
C  Chris Bosh 6-11, 235 15.5 5.5 0.7


* It seems like every time LeBron James returns to Cleveland, some sort of wild scene ensues. His initial return will never be topped, but then there was the Cavs' lone victory over the Heat since he departed (all hail Ryan Hollins) and then last season was the leaking scoreboard and the Heat's rally from a 27-point deficit. 

* With tonight's game on national TV, the group of fans expected to be handing out t-shirts encouraging James to return and the general buzz LeBron creates, I'd expect tonight to be no different. 

* Holding firm to his same routine all season, James did not address reporters during the Heat's morning shootaround and will instead talk pregame. We will most assuredly ask him about a return to Cleveland and he will assuredly dismiss the questions, then we'll all go on with our lives.

* I wrote a few weeks ago how this is a critical season in the Cavs' quest for contention because of the small window next summer provides. Guys like Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson are about to get much more expensive, which makes acquiring a top star now critical, since both players are still playing on their rookie deals through next season. After that, adding a star gets much more complicated.

* Obviously the Cavs' 4-10 start and their dismal play from some of their top picks makes it seem unlikely James would return to play here. It has been a common belief for years the only way he would seriously entertain a return here is if the Cavs were winning and at least playoff contenders. So far, that isn't the case. They have 68 games left to prove otherwise.

* C.J. Miles is doubtful for tonight with a strained calf muscle in his leg. Matthew Dellavedova will get the start again presuming he can't play. The Heat will be without Shane Battier, who is battling a cold. Udonis Haslem is expected to start in his place.

* The Cavs are 24th in scoring and 25th in offensive field-goal percentage. The Heat, incidentally, is the only team in the league shooting better than 50 percent (.514). The second-best shooting team is the Spurs (.492), who built a 43-point lead against the Cavs four nights ago. 

" The Cavs believe their biggest problem offensively has been a lack of ball movement, but the broader picture is trying to teach a young team how to win consistently. They have let multiple close games slip away. The Cavs had a chance to win the game in the final minute in five of their 10 losses. Then again, two of their four wins went to overtime and the other two were decided in the final minute. That's how close the difference is between 9-5 and 2-12 or even 0-14. So how do you teach a team to win when it doesn't know how?

* "Right now I think our problem is we are not moving the ball very well. We all know that," Anderson Varejao said. "We all know that we have to keep moving the ball and make each other better. What it takes is maybe a couple close wins so you can get that winning taste back. Then everything will be fine."

* The Heat enter tonight on a seven-game winning streak and two of their three losses this season have been by one point. 

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