Preview: Cavaliers at Heat, January 25th

January 25th, 2010 by John Krolik

heat_diner

Relevant Statistics:

Pace: Cavs 93.2 (28th) vs. Heat 93.5 (25th)

Offensive Efficiency: Cavs 108.1 (5th) vs. Heat 104.8 (14th)

Defensive Efficiency: Cavs 100.6 (6th) vs. Heat 102.7 (12th)

Notes:

-The Heat got off to a good start thanks to their defense. When they stopped playing tough defense, they stopped looking like a serious contender.

-Aaah! Rafer Alston!

-It’ll be important for Boobie to keep his wits about him. Since the Cavs don’t really have anyone who can create off the dribble in their backcourt, Wade could be flying around the passing lanes and looking to get steals. The Cavs have to stay crisp on the perimeter.

-On the other end, expect LeBron to play some free safety of his own matched up against Quentin Richardson, who’s not a threat to take the ball to the hole.

-Windhorst mentioned it in his preview, but there’s a lot of talent and a lot of inconsistency at both starting power forward positions tonight. Let’s see if JJ Hickson can turn in a third consecutive strong game and keep Beasley from getting the shots he wants.

-Jamario Moon was active in shootarounds and looked like he might make his return tonight, but the latest chatter seems to be that he’s going to sit. More Danny Green!

-Shaq’s coming off a monster game, but he’s not going to be able to abuse Jermaine O’Neal the way he was able to abuse Krstic. It’ll be interesting to see if he tries to pick up where he left off in OKC.

-I have no idea how the Cavs are going to defend Wade on the high pick-and-roll. No Delonte, who’s the best choice to guard Wade on the perimeter. And Shaq’s screen-roll defense has gotten better every game this year, but Wade doesn’t need much daylight to split the trap.

-After this game, the Cavs get a day off in South Beach and a home game against the Timberwolves, both of which should be relaxing. Let’s see if they can make their mini-vacation that much sweeter by starting it off with a win.