If the Heat have an advantage in this game, it is their team depth. They don’t possess the high-end reserves the Cavs have in Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Shawn Marion, but overall, the Heat possess greater skill across the bench. Below is each team’s production from reserves only, in terms of points per game and John Hollinger’s Game Score. Game Score was created to give a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, (40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance, etc.).
The Heat have top-end talent of their own, in Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. Both are averaging more than 21 points per game and have a Player Efficiency Rating — a measure of per-minute production standardized such that the league average is 15 — of 22 or more.
But what Cleveland lacks in bench strength, they more than make up for in top-end talent. James is averaging 25.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game. In addition, both King James and Irving are in the top 10 for points per drive to the basket, making them dangerous no matter where they are on the court.
Final score prediction: Cavaliers 102, Heat 95