The Cleveland Cavaliers have a 15-49 record when facing the Miami Heat in South Beach. In their last 10 visits, the Cavs are 2-8 when facing the Heat within the confines of the Kaseya Center. That's not just from when Cleveland was rebuilding without LeBron James either. That 10-game snippet spans all the way back to James' last season before he left to join the Los Angeles Lakers. In his 11 seasons with the Cavs, James is 3-16 against the Heat while donning the wine and gold jersey, and it took him five seasons to get his first win in South Beach.

So, despite having arguably the greatest player of all time on their roster, Cleveland has always struggled in South Beach. Numerous fans and analysts say it's due to the Miami nightlife, which is forever undefeated and probably plays a factor. Nevertheless, based on how things were when the Cavs lost to the Heat at home in late November, Cleveland at least knows what to focus on during the game to prevent a repeat of what happened last time they squared off.

Cavs X-factor vs. Heat

Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers

Internally, a lot of hinges on who is or isn't available for the Cavs. The only player on Cleveland's roster that's a game-time decision is Evan Mobley, who is dealing with a sore left knee. In their last matchup with Miami, Mobley was a vital player in the starting lineup for the Cavs, racking up 13 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in the 129-96 defeat. But, what matters more is what Mobley provides on defense that gives Cleveland a major edge any time they take the hardwood. If he's unavailable, it changes the defensive dichotomy and the Cavs will have to lean more on Jarrett Allen to protect the paint while Isaac Okoro locks things down on the perimeter.

Speaking of Okoro, he could be Cleveland's biggest x-factor on the court against Miami. Surprisingly, Jimmy Butler wasn't the biggest impact player for the Heat the last time both teams faced each other. Instead, it was guard Kyle Lowry, who connected on 70 percent of his 10 3-point attempts, torching the Cavs from the perimeter. Cleveland didn't have Okoro when Lowry went ballistic, but as the team's best perimeter defender, he would've slowed down Miami's 3-point barrage.

So, with Okoro back, he'll have the honor of slowing down both Lowry and Butler and allow guards like Max Strus and Donovan Mitchell to expend more energy on the offensive side of the ball. If the Cavs have Mobley available as well, then they should feel good about their chances of improving to 16-49 in South Beach. They'll also look to improve on their 5-8 performance against teams with a winning record.

But, if Mobley cannot go, at least Cleveland has Okoro this time around to prevent a repeat of Lowry torching them from the perimeter. Either way, it'll be a rough and tumble tilt for the Cavs against the Heat.