As LeBron James took his first steps in Cleveland as the NBA’s MVP on Sunday night, he and his team were poised to be the first team to win a title in Cleveland since 1985.
But there was still a long way to go.
In this week’s edition of the Sports Illustrated NBA preview, the reigning MVP and the Cleveland Cavaliers look to continue the run of success that has put them on top of the Eastern Conference.
With the season ending in Miami, LeBron James will have a chance to lead his team to a first-round series against the Miami Heat.
And as LeBron James prepares to take the stage at Quicken Loans Arena for the NBA Finals, he will be joined by his teammates and their families, along with the Cleveland community.
Here is a recap of what to expect on the court for the Cavs.
What to watch forThe Cavs will take on the Miami HEAT at QuikTrip Center, home of the NBA Heat.
The Cavaliers are coming off a 97-86 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, giving them a 7-2 record against the Heat.
LeBron James has been able to score the most points in the series, averaging 21.3 points per game.
The Cavs are also led by Dwyane Wade, who leads the team in scoring with 19.4 points per contest.
LeBron is averaging 26.3 minutes per game, and the Cavs have won 11 of 13 at home.
James has also averaged 20.6 points in games in Cleveland.
On the defensive end, the Cavaliers have been a major surprise this season, ranking eighth in defensive efficiency, while ranking second in points allowed per possession.
The NBA is still learning to play James in different situations, and he has struggled against LeBron James.
The Heat have won three of four in the regular season, including a series sweep in Miami in Game 5.
James was also able to finish the series with 24 points and 14 rebounds in Game 6, though his scoring was not nearly as good as in Game 3.
The Cavs have the second-best record in the NBA and are looking to build on their momentum from the playoffs.
Cleveland will host the Miami Bulls on Tuesday, March 15 at Quick Loans Arena.
The game is set to begin at 4 p.m.
ET.ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Mannix will be in Cleveland to cover the game, with the rest of SI’s coverage streamed live on the ESPN app.
ESPN’s Marc J. Spears will also provide updates on the Cavaliers as the series continues.
James, Wade and Dwyne Wade will be making their first starts as the Cavaliers on Sunday.
Wade, James and Wade are all back after missing the playoffs due to injuries.
James, Wade, Chris Bosh and Dwyanne Wade are averaging 27.4 minutes per contest for Cleveland.
The foursome has averaged 14.6 offensive rebounds per game in their first five games.
Miami has allowed LeBron James to score 25.8 points per 100 possessions in its three wins.
Miami will also be without LeBron James in this game.
Wade will not be in uniform for this game because of a sprained left ankle.
He will return to the bench after missing Game 3 with a spraining ankle.
Dwyanne Wade has been sidelined with a shoulder injury.
He has averaged 11.3 rebounds in his last four games against the Cavaliers.
Injuries for the CavaliersThe Cavaliers have had their share of injuries this season.
Dwyanan Allen is out for the season after tearing his right ACL in Game 2 of the playoffs, and Chris Bosh is out indefinitely after tearing an Achilles tendon in Game 4.
They will all miss Sunday’s game against Miami, and James is questionable for Game 5 with the injury.
LeBron has missed two games in the postseason and three of the four games this season due to a sprains ankle.
The other injury is for Kyrie Irving, who sprained his left ankle in the playoffs and has missed all five games this postseason.
The Cavaliers will play without LeBron for a third time this season in this series.
They lost the first two games, including Game 3, when he did not play due to the sprains.
James missed Game 3 in Cleveland because of the injury, and did not participate in Game 7 after missing eight straight games due to an injury.
The Miami HEATS are led by a dynamic backcourt of LeBron James, Dwyans Wade and Luol Deng.
Wade is averaging 23.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 2.4 bpg, while Deng is averaging 14.3 ppg and 6.2 rpg.
James has been the Cavs’ most consistent scorer, averaging 26 points and 11 rebounds per contest in the last five games against Miami.
He had 30 points and seven rebounds in that series.
The 6-foot-11, 205-pound James is