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HHH Gametime Preview: Heat hit the road to face off against Cavaliers

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The Miami HEAT will want to build on their victory against the Houston Rockets but will they once again struggle against lesser teams?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After going back and forth with the Houston Rockets for the first 44 minutes, the Heat went on a 15-2 run over the final 4:26 to defeat the Houston Rockets 113-104.

The victory against the Rockets was just Miami's second in their last seven games in what will go down as, statistically speaking, one of the worst of the Big 3 era.

The Heat will look to build on their late game success against Houston as they travel to Cleveland to face the 26-41 Cavaliers.  The Cavs will be returning home after a brief three game road trip that saw them defeat the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors, while dropping the finale to the Los Angeles Clippers. Cleveland will likely be without star Point Guard Kyrie Irving, as news broke earlier today about him possibly having a season-ending bicep injury.

The Cavs are 0-2 against the Heat this season, but the two sides haven't met since December 14th, back when Cleveland still had that Andrew Bynum guy.  Games between the Heat and the Cavs, especially in Cleveland, have always felt a little bit more dramatic than your average regular season game because the Heat once signed Zydrunas Ilgauskas away from the Cavs. It's a shame they still aren't over that.

Anyway, with the Heat's most recent struggles and LeBron's recent return to Cleveland for Big Z's retirement ceremony, I'm sure the majority of this game will be spent talking about the potential return of King James to his hometown instead of, you know, basketball.

But that's not what I'm here for.

The Cavs, somehow, sit just 4.5 games behind Atlanta for the #8 seed in the East at the publication of this article, so this game actually means something to them on the court.

Without Kyrie, I'm really not sure how Cleveland is going to deal with Miami's defense.  Jarrett Jack is, presumably, going to start at the point, and then be backed up by ... Matthew Dellavedova?  I think that's who's next in line.  So yeah, I'd expect to see the Heat out for blood on the defensive end looking to trap constantly and force the Cavs' ball handlers to make plays.

Hopefully Sunday's late comeback against Houston will remind the Heat that, oh by the way, they're still really good when they try, and will cause them to start doing that again.  If the Heat play like they did on Sunday, they should have no problem with the Cavs.  If they play like they did on Friday against Denver, well, it might be a long night for the Heat faithful.

For more on the Cavaliers, be sure to check out Fear The Sword.