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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Game 23: Cavs at Heat

AmericanAirlines Arena
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Memo to Byron Scott: Leave Alonzo Gee in the starting lineup at shooting guard. He is one of your best players. He acts like he belongs there. It's time to make a clean break away from Anthony Parker, whose back is going to bother him all season.

Of course, if it were up to me, Gee would have replaced Omri Casspi a long time ago.

Gee had 17 points and two steals in the loss to Miami on Tuesday. Only Antawn Jamison with 25 points and nine rebounds had more points against the Heat. Jamison was limping badly when the game ended. The last thing the Cavs need is another injury.

This game started a stretch of four games in five nights. The last thing Scott needs at this point is a depleted roster. He played Tuesday's game with an 11-man roster.

Their top three shooting guards didn't make the trip to Miami. That's not an ideal situation when facing Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade, who led all scorers with 26 points on Tuesday. The Cavs left Anthony Parker (strained lower back) and Daniel Gibson (neck infection) in Cleveland. They also waived Mychel Thompson, who had started the previous three games.

That left Scott extremely short-handed in the backcourt. Gee more than held his own at shooting guard, even though he's more of a natural "3" in my opinion.

The Cavs are now 0-2 vs. Miami, which they will face three times in a span of 23 days. The Cavs were trimmed by the Heat on Jan. 24, 92-85.

They've now lost four in a row in South Florida.

They'll start a stretch of nine consecutive home games at The Q. The Los Angeles Clippers come into town on Wednesday. We'll have to see what former Cavs guard Mo Williams will have to say. The Clips lost Chauncey Billups for the season with a torn Achilles' tendon.

Scott was forced to play Christian Eyenga on Tuesday. He played 21 scoreless minutes against the Heat. He was 0 of 4 from the field, but had four rebounds, one steal and one monster blocked shot on Norris Cole's drive to the basket. He swatted Cole's shot almost into orbit.

Scott was sending Eyenga a message to work harder in practice. He had played a total of one minute this season in the Cavs' first 22 games. That's not exactly the way it was supposed to go on Eyenga's development agenda. The problem with sending messages to Eyenga, he doesn't always get them. He lives in his own little world.

On this team, he should be playing. He can help this team with his athleticism and uncanny jumping ability. He can run the floor and dunk with the best of them. It's all about defense with him. In time, he should be a great defender. He won't getting any better sitting on the bench.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host the Los Angeles Clippers at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Omri Casspi (6-9, 225) vs. LeBron James (6-8, 250)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Chris Bosh (6-11, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Joel Anthony (6-9, 245)
SG Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Dwyane Wade (6-4, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Mario Chalmers (6-2, 190) 
Cavs – G Anthony Parker, F Tristan Thompson, G Daniel Gibson 
Heat - G Terrel Harris
Ken Mauer,  Josh Tiven,  Gary Zielinski


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