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One game provides more than enough fantasy prospects worth taking a look at—especially this one.
Emotions will be running high for players like LeBron and Irving, while Wade and Chris Bosh, among others, could put forth a little extra something, just to show they're still the King's 'mates.
The Cavs may be young, but they're feisty. And while the Heat are seasoned pros, they're no fools. This matchup is huge, and big games set the stage for incredible performances.
LeBron is averaging 26.3 points and 7.2 assists per game against his former team, but this is a different bout entirely. Questions will flock his way; reporters will beg him to provide insight into his free-agency plans. He won't of course, but that won't stop the speculation. It will actually fuel it.
So LeBron will do what LeBron does in these kinds of situations—take over. He's 9-1 against the Cavs, and while he's topped 30 points just twice in those 10 contests, I'm sensing an offensive explosion out of him in this one.
Think of it as a friendly reminder, or his way of telling Cleveland, "Hey, I'm still awesome."
King James' successor knows what's at stake here.
This is more than just one game on the schedule, more than just a single outing in a strand of many. This is his chance to show LeBron how far the Cavs, how far the city has come without him. It's the chance to show LeBron just how much of a superstar he is.
When LeBron sits down this summer and makes a decision, he'll look at all his options. Among them could be the Cavaliers, who will always be tied to their former star and he to them.
Looking back, he'll remember aspects of his various returns. The wins. The loss(es). The performances. He'll remember Irving and how he played, making this the first opportunity he has on the year to leave a lasting impression. Expect him to make the most of it.
A few years ago, calling Andrew Bynum a "sleeper" would've been out of line. Now, it's among the highest of praises he can receive.
The Heat are better equipped to defend big men this year with Chris Andersen, but they're not perfect. Greg Oden has yet to make an appearance, and Bosh often finds himself overmatched on the defensive end. This could be another one of those times.
Bynum is coming off a season-high 16 points against the Spurs. Granted, the Cavs were annihilated, but his 8-of-15 effort from the floor was an encouraging sign.
Against the Heat, Bynum will look for more. Still far from the player he was, his size and available strength alone make him a problem for the continuously center-challenged Miami. Don't be surprised if his performance in San Antonio proves contagious.