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Cleveland-Miami: O'Neal's do Battle Down Low

Louis PisanoAnalyst INovember 12, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Shaquille O'Neal #33 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks to maneuver against Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during the game on November 11, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

By Louis “King of Roncesvalles” Pisano

The Cleveland Cavaliers stumbled out of the gate and have since rounded into form, while the Miami Heat are off to a great start and lead their division.

The adjustment that has had to be made by Cleveland with the addition of "Shaq Daddy" took a little bit of getting used to for all involved, but last night may have been the final tweaking of what needed to be, for lack of a better word, tweaked while beating the Orlando Magic. He handled one Superman now can he handle the other big man known as O’Neal in the league.

Tonight will be the next test of this star-studded line up of the Cavs as they face a deep team in their second game in the state of Florida.

Miami and D-Wade haven’t really been tested yet, aside from playing the Denver Nuggets who were playing their third game in four nights and in the middle of a six game road trip and a still questionable young Chicago team. They beat the injury riddled Washington Wizards twice, Indiana and the NY Knicks losing only to Phoenix Suns who have been on fire scoring at will on most everyone.

Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal should be battling for space under the basket and I have to give the edge to the bigger more physical Shaq as Jermaine is still playing with a broken nose which may get a tap or two from a Shaq shoulder or elbow.

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Both benches are deep and up and down the line-up it’s tough to give an advantage to anyone, well D-Wade will most likely be covered by Anthony Parker and if Cleveland and AP can limit Wades scoring, always a tough task, Cleveland will win this game. There won’t be much room down low for Wade to drive and neither O’Neal is an outside shooting threat so Wade in all likely-hood will have to dish balls off and hit shots from the outside if he is to be effective.

Miami will have the advantage with Michael Beasley going up against J.J. Hickson and will need him to be productive if they want to hang around in this game.

The three balls could be the difference and the advantage again goes to the Cavs who hit more and shoot more from beyond the arc.

Though the Miami Heat are a slim favourite in this game, and Cleveland is playing back to back, I have to lean towards the team that dominated the East last year and has begun to show why.

Cavs win a tight one, 93-88.

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