The Shaq Homecoming tour continues tonight in Miami when the Shaqtus faces his third former team in three games by making his first visit back to South Beach since The Big Trade.
It will be interesting to see how Heat fans react to the Diesel, because on one hand he brought the city a championship and on the other he did his fair share of trashing the organization on his way out.
The Heat will be better able to handle Shaq this time around as well, with a legit center in Jermaine O’Neal to complement the 6-foot-8 Udonis Haslem and whoever Joel Anthony is.
Although Shaq often missed or struggled in the second game of a back to back earlier in the year, you know he will be playing and motivated to dominate in this one.
Unfortunately for the Suns, Shaq’s old sidekick Dwyane Wade may destroy Phoenix if this one is anything like their Nov. 28 meeting in the Valley when D-Wade exploded for 43 in a 15-point Heat win. The Suns just had no answer for him all evening.
Wade leads the NBA in scoring at 29.2 ppg, and he’s the main reason the Heat would be seeded fifth in the East if the season ended today.
Of course, that’s not really fair because the Suns, with the same record as the Eastern Conference’s fourth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, are two games off the pace of even reaching postseason play.
Not to beat a dead horse, but with trips to Houston and San Antonio on the docket after the Suns leave Florida, the Heat are the only team the Suns will play during this seven-game stretch against whom they own a better record than.
After failing to pull out a winnable game in Orlando, the disaster scenario I feared about this trip could present itself if the Suns don’t earn a win in Shaq’s old home.