The 5-4 Heat encounters another centrist Eastern Conference team in the 4-4 Toronto Raptors. Jose Calderon may or may not be in the lineup, and his absence would make Miami prohibitive favorites. A win would put the Heat two games over .500 for the first time this season, with rematches against the Wizards and Raptors looming this week and suggesting the possibility of a nice early-season win streak.
Matchup of the night: Jermaine O'Neal vs. Udonis Haslem.
This is the kind of matchup Haslem needs to win, or at least break even, for the Heat's small lineup to work. O'Neal is in steep decline from his All-Star prime but is still a more than serviceable post, and Haslem will have a hard time stopping his short jumpers and turnarounds if he's getting the ball in the post. The nightly opposing size advantage is pretty severe here, as Haslem gives up at least three inches to J.O.
Opposing player I'm scared of: Chris Bosh.
Obviously, I know, but the rest of this roster doesn't exactly strike fear into one's heart. Bosh is the only guy, unless Calderon plays, who can really beat you single-handedly. I'm hoping he plays well, if only to give Michael Beasley a stiff test and support my theory that he should be target No. 1 in 2010.