When and where: November 20, 2019, American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL, 7:30 PM ET
The Cleveland Cavaliers hope to put an end to a four-game losing streak in Wednesday’s road trip to Florida to take on the Miami Heat. It was only last Thursday when the Heat visited Ohio and handed the Cavaliers a 97-108 loss. Cleveland has since gone on to lose to the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks. Meanwhile, the Heat are coming off a 109-94 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. They have yet to lose a game at home this season.
Same old Cavaliers beginning to surfaceIt was only a matter of time before the Cavaliers slipped back into old habits.
The moonwalking continued in Monday’s loss to the Knicks in a game where they actually had the better field goal shooting percentage. But they also had 20 turnovers that went for 32 points the other way. It was the same backbreaking mental errors that constantly haunt the young team.
“This isn’t just a tough loss like it was in Philly where we competed,” Cavaliers head coach John Beilein said after the game, via Cleveland.com. “We got blown out in our own arena on a Sunday afternoon in front of a great crowd. It measures you a little bit. We’ve got to bounce back from it and find a way to make the changes in everything that we do. Effort areas, defense, offense, rotations, everything. Just keep looking at it because these last two games have not been in the right direction.”
The Heat are easily one of the best defensive teams in the league, and they’ll work hard to feast on turnovers. It’s a tough match-up for a Cavaliers team only averaging 104.5 points per game. That means they won’t have much room for mistakes. Points are going to be hard to come by, and they have to make the most out of every possession.
Kevin Love possibly being back in the lineup would be huge for the Cavaliers. He’s the team’s leading scorer and rebounder on the floor. There is also the veteran leadership he brings to a roster full of young talent. The Heat are a much-improved team on the offensive end of the floor as well. So the Cavaliers will need all of the help they can get to combat a truly tough opponent on both ends of the floor.
Are the Heat for real?The Heat have been rolling since the start of the season, and they are currently unbeaten when playing at home in the American Airlines Arena. Yet, only one of those victories came against a team with a winning record.
Even in the team’s recent three-game win streak, all three opponents have losing records with a 12-27 combined overall record. There is plenty to like from the Heat early in the season, but it’s still a toss-up as to whether they’ll continue to scale the standings as one of the top-three teams in the Eastern Conference.
They’ll take another opponent with a losing record in Wednesday’s home game against the Cavaliers. It’s already a defensive mismatch on paper with the Cavaliers struggling with a 43.3 shooting percentage from the floor. The possibility of Love returning does give them a significant weapon on offense they didn’t have against the Knicks, which is something the Heat will have to take into account on defense. Love is tough to guard due to his ability to stretch out a defense with his long-range shooting skills.
The Cavaliers have been mediocre on the defensive end of the floor, but the Heat won’t have any excuses with this game being at home against a team that gave up 123 points to the Knicks. Forwards Justice Winslow, Derrick Jones Jr. and KZ Okpala have all been ruled out for the game with injuries. That’ll leave the grunt work to center Bam Adebayo and reserve forwards Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Cavaliers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning % above .600.
- Cavaliers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning straight up record.
- Cavaliers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Cavaliers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss.
- Heat are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Heat are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 home games against a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Heat are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Heat are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games playing on 3 or more days rest.