Key: Shooting Stars
LeBron James – who sat out Monday’s meeting in Miami, will be out for Wednesday’s finale in Cleveland – has averaged over 43 minutes per night in the five games leading up to that loss to the Heat.
Kyrie Irving is listed as questionable and Tristan Thompson – who’s missed his first action since February 2012 with a sprained right thumb – is listed as probable.
On Monday night, Cleveland went with a small but effective starting lineup in Miami – with Iman Shumpert at shooting guard and J.R. Smith in the small forward role. Swish was in a great groove during Cleveland’s four-game win streak but he’s cooled off considerably over his last three – shooting just 24 percent from the floor and from long-range, averaging 5.7 points per. Whether it’s from game-to-game or at a point during the game, not many shooters can get hotter more quickly than Smith, who the Cavaliers will need to be on his game when the “second season” tips off this weekend.
Shumpert had his best offensive output in almost a month on Monday night – finishing with 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting.
The Cavaliers “other” 2-guard, Kyle Korver, has already re-discovered his rhythm – notching double-figures in three of the five games since his return from a sore left foot, shooting an even 50 percent from long-range (14-for-28) and poised to win his fourth three-point shooting title with a .451 mark on the season.