The Cleveland Cavaliers will rest their starters in an important game against the Miami Heat on Monday.
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and possibly Kevin Love will all be out of action for the defending champions. The Cavaliers are also missing Tristan Thompson from the starting lineup.
Cleveland's starting five is expected to feature J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Derrick Williams. Love remains questionable for the game, but it would not be surprising if the Cavaliers opt to rest him as well.
The Cavaliers have already clinched a playoff spot, but could miss out on the top seed with this decision. Cleveland enters the contest tied with Boston atop the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers hold that tiebreaker, but will now be at a disadvantage in this one.
The Heat meanwhile need to win, while also receiving some help. Miami enters Monday's game in ninth place in the conference. Even if Miami goes 2-0 in the last two games, it will need an assist to reach the playoffs. The Heat could make it even with a loss in this game, but the road becomes very treacherous at that point.
Miami could also receive a huge lift with the return of Dion Waiters in this game. The Heat currently have Waiters listed as questionable, but the veteran did work on the court earlier in the day. Without Waiters, Miami has struggled mightily. The guard was a big reason for the Heat's turnaround this season and he could be a difference maker in the final two games.
Monday's game will begin at 7:30 p.m.