clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

HHH GameTime Preview: Miami Heat return home to host the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Heat return home to play their first game at the AmericanAirlines Arena since December 3 to face a familiar foe.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Eleven days removed from their last home game, the Miami Heat (16-6) will return to the American Airlines Arena Saturday night at 7:30 to face the Cleveland Cavaliers (9-13).

The Heat return home from splitting a four game road trip, which was capped off with Wednesday night's loss to the Indiana Pacers, 90-84.

Cleveland, meanwhile, will be on the second night of a road back to back after beating the Orlando Magic game 109-100 on Friday.

The Cavaliers enter tonight's contest having won five of their last six games, and appear to finally be finding their groove after spending much of the early part of the season struggling. Kyrie Irving in particular started off slow this season, but appears to be getting his game together now - earlier this week, Irving scored 37 on 61% shooting against the Knicks at home.

For the Heat, they couldn't be returning home at a better time. Coming off an emotional loss to Indiana, the team was given a few days to get healthy and refocus on this upcoming five game home stand.

Dwyane Wade hasn't played in three of Miami's last five games (two of which have ended in losses), but all signs are that Wade will be playing tonight after a long layoff.

After losing consecutive games to the Pistons and Bulls, LeBron James decided to focus more on rebounding, and the efforts appear to have paid off - James has pulled in 35 rebounds in Miami's last three games, and we should expect that trend to continue against Cleveland's large frontline.

The most intriguing aspect of this game, to me, is how much of an impact Andrew Bynum will have for Cleveland. The last time these two teams met (a 95-84 win for the Heat), Bynum shot just 2-10 from the field in 23 minutes of action. Since then, however, Bynum has picked up his game immensely, and is averaging 13.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in December.

If Bynum does have an impact this time around, the Heat will need to get more out of Chris Bosh, who went just 3-9 from the field for 6 points the last time these two teams met.

Unfortunately for the Heat, Michael Beasley, who has already missed three straight games, has already been ruled out for tonight's game. It remains unclear when Beasley will return to the lineup.

The game, which tips off at 7:30, will be broadcast on Sun Sports and NBATV.