This isn't a revenge game. It's not even a game the Miami Heat should really kill themselves trying to win. The important thing to remember is that the Cleveland Cavaliers are another team trying to finalize its roster. More important than - "Will LeBron James say hello to Chris Bosh?" I'd say the five guys who end up not making the final cut won't really care about it. In fact, I doubt that James and Bosh have thought about it more than we have. Maybe the NBA decided to move this game to Brazil to avoid the media "circus" that will undoubtedly materialize for the first Heat/Cavs matchup in the regular season...on Christmas Day. This is, after all, an audition - not revenge.
The last time the Heat faced off against the Cavaliers was on March 18th, when a very different looking Heat visited Cleveland to face a very different Cavaliers. Then-Heat player James led Miami to a 100-96 win with 43 points, shooting six-of-eight from deep, adding six boards, four helpers, three blocks and two steals. Bosh added 21 points with six rebounds, and Ray Allen came off the bench for 14 points on relatively bad five-of-13 shooting. Jarrett Jack led six Cavs in double figures with 22 points, Dion Waiters scored 17 points with 11 assists, and Anderson Varejao had 16 points and 11 rebounds. * Box Score * Full Recap
Still Heat James spoke about his ignition:
When we started the game off, I felt like I could have went for 50 or 60 points. I was just in one of those zones. It's a great feeling. I shot the ball really well in warmups, and I was able to transfer it into a game situation.
Fear The Sword has all the Cavalier talk you can stand.
Probable Starting Lineups:
PG - Mario Chalmers
PF - Josh McRoberts
C - Chris Bosh
SF - Luol Deng
SG - Dwyane Wade
PG - Kyrie Irving
PF - Kevin Love
C - Anderson Varejao
SF - LeBron James
SG - Dion Waiters
If you really look at it, I think the Cavs team may actually be better than the Heat was for the last four years. It's a truly epic collection of talent - with stronger supporting talent than the original "Big Three" could hope for. From a historical perspective, anyway, this union of all-stars will be fascinating to watch. From a homer perspective, I think it's going to be sour grapes. As for Saturday - just trying to pare down 20 guys into 15.
GameTime: 5PM EST
Where to tune in: ESPNEWS will broadcast on whatever cable provider carries it. You can also follow along on WTAM 1100, WM 100.7, or 104.3 the Ticket. Failing all that, you can jump in our GameThread after the tip and follow along (kind of).