CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Miami heat forward LeBron James will return once again to Quicken Loans Arena Monday but will not take the floor.
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed that James will not play against the Cavaliers. Neither will Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade or Mario Chalmers.
Wade, Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier did not even make the trip to Cleveland for Monday night’s game.
Spoelstra will only have 9 players in uniform and he will start 40-year-old Juwan Howard as well as Cleveland State alumn Norris Cole.
The Heat, who clinched the best record in the league and with it home court advantage through the NBA Finals, are coming off a 105-93 win over the Chicago Bulls Sunday and are now preparing themselves to defend their NBA championship.
The Cavaliers have lost 14 of their last 16 games, including an embarrassing showing at Philadelphia Sunday – a game that wasn’t even as close as the 91-77 final might indicate.
The game against the Heat wraps up the home portion of the schedule for the Cavaliers, who are tied with Phoenix for the 3rd worst record in the league at 24-56.
In James’ final season in Cleveland, the Cavaliers won 66 regular season games. The franchise has won a measly 64 since his departure.