Heat vs. Cavaliers: Cleveland Players Who Can Pull off Mega Upset

Nick JuskewyczContributor IIIMarch 20, 2013

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 3: C.J. Miles #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walks to the bench during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Bradley Center on November 3, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers might be without Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Dion Waiters (knee) against the defending NBA champions, but there are other players that can step up in their absence to end Miami's 23-game winning streak (injuries via CBSSports.com).

Miami is coming off an impressive 17-point comeback win at the Boston Celtics, and even though LeBron James is coming back to Cleveland for the first time this season, the Cavaliers haven't exactly been the easiest team for the Heat to overcome.

Miami's two victories against Cleveland were by a combined total of six points, with the Cavs leading both contests with under two minutes remaining in the game.

These are the two Cavaliers players that can help Cleveland shock the NBA world tonight.

Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson continues to get better without Anderson Varejao in the lineup. In March, Thompson is averaging 13.2 points on 52.1 percent shooting to go with 10.2 rebounds. He's also recorded double-doubles against some of the better frontcourt teams, such as Indiana, Memphis and Utah.

Miami's biggest weakness is protecting the paint and rebounding. Even though the Celtics were without Kevin Garnett on Monday, Jeff Green had a career-high 43 points against the Heat. Orlando had Miami on the ropes twice this season, mainly due to Nikola Vucevic's combined 45 points and 50 rebounds.

Without two of Cleveland's guards in the lineup, look for the Cavs to attack Miami inside.  


C.J. Miles

C.J. Miles had a monstrous game off the bench against Miami on February 24. With most of the damage coming at the end of the 3rd quarter, Miles was bombing three-pointers and finished with 19 points.

It's been an inconsistent year for Miles between all the injuries Cleveland has suffered this season. However, he has found a groove since the beginning of February and Miles is playing his best basketball of 2013. He's coming off a 21-point performance against Indiana on 50-percent shooting.

Miles is going to have to be the spark on the perimeter. Whenever he catches fire, it's critical he rides that as long as possible, because Miami has become the most dangerous fourth-quarter team in the NBA.