- Defense, defense, defense
The Cavs are arguably the worst defensive team in basketball, as evidenced by their 109.2 defensive rating, a mark only lower than Sacramento (109.8) and Phoenix (109.9). Opponents are scoring a whopping 47.4 points in the paint per game vs. Cleveland this year, and that figures to continue with a thinned frontcourt comprised of Tristan Thompson, Jae Crowder and Channing Frye.
Recency bias might say otherwise.
The defending Eastern Conference champions limited Miami to a 43.4 percent (36-of-83) clip from the field and 10.7 percent (3-of-28) mark from beyond the arc this past Wednesday. The Heat committed 20 turnovers, an encouraging sign on the second night of a back-to-back.
Sustaining this defense will be a priority, as the Rockets rank second in the NBA in offense (113.8 ppg).