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Game of the Night: Miami Heat Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

It is always a big night when LeBron James returns home to Cleveland to face his former team and Tuesday is one of those nights. The Miami Heat, fresh off a Sunday afternoon victory over the Houston Rockets, begin a two-game road trip at Quicken Loans Arena against the Kyrie Irving-less Cavaliers.

Nov 27, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters (3) drives against Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during a game at Quicken Loans Arena. Miami won 95-84. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat are 12-1 against the Cavs since James joined their squad in 2010, including a 5-1 mark in Cleveland. With Irving unavailable, there is a good chance that the Heat will win their tenth straight game in this matchup. Irving has a strained tendon in his left bicep and will be out for the next two weeks and then will be re-evaluated to see if he will be available for the remainder of the season. This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 26-41 Cavs, who are holding on to slim playoff hopes.

These two teams have played twice this season, the Heat winning both by an average margin of nine points. James is averaging 27.5 points, 8.5 assists and 8.5 rebounds against his former team this season and Dwyane Wade has added 46 points on 19-29 shooting in both games combined. The Heat as a team have shot 52 percent from the field. Without Irving, Dion Waiters will have to step up at the guard spot for the Cavs, but he has played well against the Heat so far this season, averaging 20 points on 48 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from three. The Cavs have shot just 40.7 percent from the field as a team against the Heat this season.

I think that if the Cavaliers want to have a chance to win this game they will need to play well down low. The Heat like to play with the small lineup, so guys like Tristan Thompson and Spencer Hawes need to do a good job of attacking the offensive glass against one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA. Hawes has played very well against the Heat in two games against the defending champs this season while with Philadelphia, averaging 17 points on 9.5 rebounds on 53.6 percent shooting. Thompson, on the other hand, has struggled against the Heat, averaging 10 points on 35 percent shooting. He has grabbed 18 boards in the two games, so he will need to continue that if he wants to help his team put their struggles against the Heat to an end.

The Pick: The Heat have played very well as a unit so far this season against the Cavaliers and the Cavaliers have not played well against the Heat. Being without their floor general won’t help the Cavs either. The Heat just snapped their five game losing-skid after Sunday’s win and they are looking to get back on track, as they are still competing for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. They have made it look easy against the Cavs over the past couple of years and I don’t see that changing Tuesday night, the Heat win 105-89.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

Television: FSOH/Sun Sports

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Cleveland Cavaliers Shopping Dion Waiters; Where Does He Fit Best?

Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After fourteen games, the Cleveland Cavaliers are already a disappointment. Fine, maybe not as big of a disaster as their friends in the Eastern Conference such as the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, but a disappointment nonetheless.

They are 4-10 and are tied for the fourth worst record in the league. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Cavs are ready to move on from Dion Waiters, the second-year player out of Syracuse University. They have discussed potential trades with the Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers and Knicks.

Waiters and forward Tristan Thompson were close to a physical alterication during a players-only meeting following a 29-point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 13. The two were separated by teammates, but not before Waiters accused the team of having a double-standard when it comes to star point guard Kyrie Irving, who, according to Waiters gets away with sub-par defense, turnovers and a poor shot-selection at times.

Waiters, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft has struggled after an encouraging rookie campaign. He is averaging 13 points on 38.9 percent shooting, compared to his 14.7 points on 41.2 percent shooting just one season ago. His turnovers have increased, while his assists and free throw percentage have gone down as well.

Since it also known that Waiters is open to a trade, the most crucial question now is on which team does Waiters fit the best?

After Derrick Rose went down with a season-ending meniscus tear last week, it is now in the realm of possibility that Chicago might be open to tanking this season and trading veteran forward Luol Deng. Cavs GM Chris Grant may be on the hot seat, and it would be logical that he would want to add an experienced player to compliment Cleveland’s young roster.

Of course, however, a Waiters – Deng trade straight up would not make sense due to the salary cap rules. Waiters is making $3.89 million while Deng is earning upwards of $14 million. Cleveland would have to add another piece to the deal, possibly Tyler ZellerEarl Clark, C.J. Miles or Alonzo Gee.

Broussard also reported that the Cavs have interest in Sixers forward Evan Turner, a player that Philly is believed to be widely open to trading. James Anderson has had a quality start to the season, but he is not thought of as the long-term solution at the two-guard for the Sixers. Waiters would have the ability to fill that slot.

Again, however, Cleveland would have to add another piece to make the deal work financially.

The struggling Knicks have been rumored of attempting to trade Iman Shumpert, and this could possibly be the deal where the guard leaves New York. The Knicks have been searching for another viable scoring threat not-named Carmelo Anthony, and Waiters would certainly provide them with offense. They would, however, lose some defense with a Waiters – Shumpert swap.

While no deal is imminent, it seems as though Waiters is bound to exit Cleveland before the season’s end. The once promising guard is only adding more distractions to a team that had playoff aspirations entering the season. Whether it is the Bulls, Sixers, Knicks or another squad, expect Waiters to be donning a new uniform – shortly.