LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Miami Heat tonight (7 ET, ESPN/WatchESPN), and history says the Cavs have the advantage. LeBron is 9-0 in his career at home against his former team (7-0 with Heat vs. Cavaliers; 2-0 with Cavaliers last season vs. Heat). Here’s a look at the top stats to know about the game:
Keeping Wade healthy
Dwyane Wade turns 34 in January, and last year he averaged a career-low 31.8 minutes per game. Wade missed 20 games last season and hasn’t played 70 games in a season since 2010-11.
But age doesn’t seem to hurt his scoring production. Wade still ranked among the NBA’s leaders in points by a guard last season.
Cavs' Big Three is missing
Cleveland opened the season without its starting point guard Kyrie Irving, again preventing its three star players from sharing the court together.
Last year, when James, Irving and Kevin Love all played in the regular season, the Cavs went 46-14 with a scoring margin of plus-8.5 points per game.
Irving might be the key to the Big Three. In games with James and Love but without Irving, the Cavs have been underwhelming, going 2-4 since the start of last season.
Irving has never been able to play a full season. Last regular season was the closest he came, playing in 80 games, but he did miss the stretch run of the playoffs.
• Through two games, James has scored 37 points (18.5 per game). That is the fewest points scored in the opening two games of a season in James’ career.
• Through two games, Cleveland’s bench is averaging 35.0 PPG. That is a big improvement over the NBA-worst 24.2 PPG it averaged last season.
• The Heat made 12 of 20 3-point attempts in their season-opening victory. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that tied the franchise record for most 3-pointers made in a season-opening game.
Miami went 12-for-25 from behind the arc in its first game of the 1997-98 season.
• First-round pick Justise Winslow made a strong Heat debut. He played 26 minutes off the bench, and Miami was a plus-26 during his time on the court.