Miami gets a heck of a test tonight against a stacked Rockets team that finally seems to be figuring out how good it is. Looking down the list, there's not many matchups that favor Miami:
Center: Yao Ming vs. Udonis Haslem (HOUSTON)
Power forward: Luis Scola vs. Michael Beasley (DRAW)
Small forward: Ron Artest vs. Shawn Marion (HOUSTON)
Shooting guard: Tracy McGrady vs. Dwyane Wade (MIAMI)
Point guard: Rafer Alston vs. Mario Chalmers (HOUSTON)
Frontcourt depth: Chuck Hayes/Carl Landry vs. Joel Anthony/Yakhouba Diawara (HOUSTON)
Backcourt depth: Brent Barry/Aaron Brooks vs. Chris Quinn/Daequan Cook (DRAW)
Formula a Heat win: a brilliant Wade performance + a bad shooting night for McGrady + a game-changing effort by an unexpected Heat player (Cook, Chalmers, etc.)
Matchup of the night: Tracy McGrady vs. Dwyane Wade.
One of those classic scoring guard matchups. Wade is the better player, but McGrady can fill it up when he's on.
Opposing player I'm scared of: Yao Ming
Because he's 7-6 and crazy good, but also because of the matchup. Although I am of two minds about this: on one hand, the height advantage Yao has every night is more prominent against Udonis Haslem. On the other, if Yao can shoot over anyone he wants anyway, what's the difference between shooting over a 6-11 guy and a 6-8 one like Haslem? Here's Magic center Dwight Howard quoted in the Houston Chronicle:
"His turnaround jump shot, nobody can block it unless you're 7-8," Howard said.
"It's like a beanstalk. You got to chop."
Let's get chopping.