Cavaliers (3-9) at Heat (9-3) – Game #13


Most Cavaliers fans have moved on from LeBron James. They seem more focused on their own team, their own issues, their own potential solutions.

As for James and the Heat, Cavs fans would still prefer they lose — but they also realize that’s not real likely most nights.

But that’s the way it should be for Cavs fans. They should feel more in tune with what the team in Cleveland is doing.

They should also understand that it won’t be this way forever.

Dwyane Wade is already getting older and becoming fairly injury-prone. Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, two key off-season additions, maybe have a year or two left in the NBA. On top of that, the Heat are facing their own uncertain free-agent reality in 2014 — when James, Wade and Chris Bosh are free to leave.

Basically, about the same time the Cavs should be getting good, the Heat may be on their way out. Maybe not, but it’s certainly possible.

For now, however, James is the best player in the game and the Heat are the frontrunners to win another championship.

James also seems to have learned from the public relations disaster that was the “Decision” show, when he left Cleveland for Miami.

Without question, LeBron is more mature as a player, as a person, as the NBA’s brightest star. He admitted he made a mistake by punching Cleveland in the gut on national TV, and has cleaned up his image.

He wins, he says and does the right thing, he behaves like you want champions to behave. He conducts himself with professionalism and dignity. He is, clearly, a grown man who makes adult decisions.

These days, Cavs fans no longer care enough to disrespect that. That’s good for everybody, because everybody — the Cavs, the Heat and LeBron — has their own business to handle.

Someday, things will be different. Cavs fans can cling to that notion. For now, though, all they can do is follow the growing process and if they must, tip their cap to the man who once hurt them. But he’s gone. And he’s sorry. And the Cavs are still here.


AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami


7:30 p.m. EST


FOX Sports Ohio HD (Cavaliers Live pre-game show begins at 7 p.m.)


Cleveland – WTAM-1100 AM (broadcast begins at 7 p.m.)



C – Anderson Varejao; PF – Tristan Thompson; SF – Alonzo Gee; SG – Dion Waiters; PG – Jeremy Pargo. Coach: Byron Scott.


C – Chris Bosh; PF – LeBron James; SF – Shane Battier; SG – Dwyane Wade; PG – Mario Chalmers. Coach: Erik Spoelstra.


The Cavs forced the Magic into 18 turnovers in Friday’s loss. A similar defensive performance will undoubtedly be required tonight. … Varejao has grabbed at least 17 rebounds five times this season. He leads the league in that category (14.0). … The Heat lead all-time series, 48-39, and have won four straight in the series. …  James has scored at least 20 points in all 12 games. His previous personal-best was seven straight to start a season. … Miami is 6-1 vs. the Cavs in the James era. … The Heat are 24-0, dating back to least season, when shooting 50 percent from the field. … They’ve also won 34 straight when out-rebounding opponents.

Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO