LeBron James loves being in Miami. He spends time on the water trolling Heat fans. He visits the restaurants and he works out with friends and former teammates.
LeBron seems to love everything about the city in which he won two NBA titles. … except facing the Miami Heat.
Since LeBron left the Heat to return to Cleveland in 2014, the Cavs have come to South Florida six times. Their superstar has decided to sit out half of those games, including three of the last four.
Last year, LeBron sat out both times Cleveland played at AmericanAirlines Arena, citing the need to rest after social media accounts had him partying in the early morning hours at LIV, the trendy South Beach nightclub, that same day.
Cleveland was playing the second night of a back-to-back on both occasions.
Barring injury, LeBron has no excuse this season when Cleveland plays in Miami. … Or does he? The Cavs are one of four Eastern Conference teams Miami faces three times instead of four and they come to Miami once – March 27.
The Cavs play at Brooklyn on March 25 and have an off day in Miami on the 26th before facing the Heat. Cleveland, though, plays at Charlotte on March 28 – their first back-to-back in March – so LeBron could decide to rest on the first night of the back-to-back this time.
On the three occasions LeBron has played in Miami since leaving the Heat, he is averaging 27.3 points. In his first game back after leading the Heat to four consecutive Finals appearances and two titles, he scored 30 points. The game was Christmas Day 2014. He then scored 26 in Miami later that season.
In 2015-16, LeBron rested for the first time that season in Miami on Dec. 5. He played in Miami on March 19 – after playing the previous night in Orlando – and scored 26 points.
Last season, LeBron spent more time on the dance floor at LIV than the court at AmericanAirlines Arena.
By the way, the Heat are 6-0 against the Cavs at home since LeBron returned to Cleveland.