By Ben York, Suns.com Now at 3-4 on the road and over .500 on the year (7-6), the Suns cap off their three-game road trip with a match-up against the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat on Monday, November 25. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona at 5:30pm and fans can listen to the radio broadcast on Arizona Sports 620. Click through to see five things Suns fans should watch for during #SunsAtHeat.
Defense and Rebounding Both the Suns and Heat are amongst the league leaders in terms of defense – each team allows just 97 points per game. But one major difference between the two teams is on the glass – Miami gives up about 37 rebounds per game compared to the Suns’ 43. However, the Heat have a +9.3 differential in points to the Suns’ +2.5. If Phoenix is going to steal a win in Miami, they’ll need to force the Heat into difficult shots while controlling the offensive and defensive glass.
Back-to-Back Back-to-back games are never easy, especially when they’re on the road. Indeed, it starts and ends with energy. The good news is that the Suns were able to conserve minutes as much as possible against Orlando on Sunday while also assuring a victory (Gerald Green led the Suns with 34 minutes played). Furthermore, only three Suns totaled over 30 minutes in Sunday’s game (Green –34, Frye –33, Dragic –33). Staying fresh on the final game of a tough road trip can go a long way.
Tucker vs. James Stopping Lebron James is an impossible task, but it’s one P.J. Tucker doesn’t shy away from. Tucker’s defense can be infectious throughout the entire squad. For a Miami team who has won six in a row, Tucker and the Suns hope they catch the Heat and James on a cool shooting night.
Scoring Punch For as much as the Suns need to focus their efforts on the defensive end, they’ll also need multiple players to step up offensively. Miami is one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, so Phoenix won’t be able to rely on just one or two players to provide the bulk of their points. Look for the Morris twins, Miles Plumlee and Archie Goodwin to actively seek out scoring opportunities.
Bench Mob Against an incredibly deep team like the Heat, the Suns will need their “Bench Mob” to be out in full force. Though, it doesn’t necessarily mean they need to score in droves. Rather, any significant contribution will be huge such as focusing on rebounding, locking down on the defensive end or providing a much-needed energy boost at a key stretch.