Cavs Dribbles: More Determined Play, Defense Will Be Required Vs. Heat

CLEVELAND — Random dribbles ahead of the Cavaliers‘ home game vs. the Miami Heat on Wednesday.Cavaliers' Caris LeVert slaps hands with Jarrett Allen as Steph Curry looks on

1. Somehow, someway, the Cavs have kept chugging along. This despite missing starters Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Max Strus, as well as top reserve Dean Wade.

2. All four are out again tonight.

3. Yet the Cavs (43-25) have won two of three, all on the road, without them. Now, it’s back home against the defending Eastern Conference champs.

4. By the way, in news that may sound familiar to Cavs fans, old friend Kevin Love has missed 10 straight for the Heat with a heel contusion.

5. Some have asked, and there are no updates on Strus and Mobley. Mitchell, of course, will miss at least a week with a nasal fracture. He already was taking some time off because of his knee issue.

6. Wade’s knee issue is also a bit of a mystery after he missed three games for personal reasons.

7. Nonetheless, I agree with former NBA guard Steve Smith, who said the other day on NBA TV that the Cavs just need to use this time to survive, get healthy, and get everyone back for the playoffs. Smith said he thinks the Cavs could go places if whole.

8. Thankfully, they do still have the likes of Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, and Georges Niang. And hey, Marcus Morris proved to be a pretty good pickup in his first game with a 10-day deal, scoring 14 points at Indiana.

9. LeVert on overcoming the injuries: “We’ve got a lot of guys capable of contributing and making big plays down the stretch.”

10. Both LeVert and coach J.B. Bickerstaff praised the Cavs’ defense after the win over Indiana, and that will indeed be the reason they can hang on with so many injuries. It’s also how you get out of the first round (and maybe beyond) in the playoffs.

11. So here we are, another home game while missing a bunch of key guys. What will the Cavs do? With the way it’s gone lately, you can bet they will battle and give themselves a chance.

12. I have a few more Dribbles here, and of course, will have more after the game.

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