Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat – NBA March 23

Phoenix Suns (28-13, 13-5-road)  vs. Miami Heat (22-21, 12-10, home)

  • Time: 5 PST – 7 CST – 8 EST
  • Place: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fla.
  • TV: FS Arizona, FS Sun, NBA League Pass

Opening Tip:

The Suns open up a four game road trip through the south with three games in Florida as they have won 11 out of their last 14 games to streak to second place in the Western Conference where they sit only 2.5 games back of the Utah Jazz.

Miami has lost three in a row after winning 11 of 12 to take the Southeast Division lead. Miami is sitting in a first place tie with the Atlanta Hawks as both are tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference and they are half-game ahead of Charlotte.

Phoenix is 17-15 vs. the Heat in Florida as the last win came in the Orlando Bubble last season. The Suns have also won six in a row on the road which is the longest road winning streak since 2010. The 28-13 start in the best start through 41 games since the 2007-08 season.

Miami is 5-3 over it’s last eight games at home and the Heat has used 18 different starting lineups this season.

Key Injuries:

  • Suns – N/A
  • HeatAvery Bradley (calf) and Goran Dragić (back) – day to day

Vs. The Spread:

Suns:

  • Phoenix is 16-4 ATS and SU in the last 20 games
  • The Suns are 3-13 ATS vs. Miami in their last 16 games
  • Phoenix checks in at 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games

Heat:

  • Miami is 1-4 ATS in it’s last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 7 of Miami’s last 10 outings
  • The total has gone OVER in the last 6 Heat-Suns games

Last Time Out

Phoenix led wire-to-wire on Sunday in dealing the LA Lakers a 111-94 setback in Phoenix. Chris Paul posted a a triple-double as he became only the sixth player in NBA history to post 10,000 career assists. Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker led Phoenix with 26 points each.

Miami lost the second game of a back-to-back to the Indiana Pacers, 109-106 in overtime as Indiana completed the weekend sweep. Bam Adebayo had 29 points and 15 rebounds for Miami white Jimmy Butler had 21 and 15. Miami went only 9-of-37 from long distance while the Pacers hit 15 threes which was the difference in the contest.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Phoenix Suns -1½ (-113) -130 O 215½ (-110)
Miami Heat +1½ (-107) +110 U 215½ (-110)

Advantage, Phoenix:

Phoenix Suns LogoThe Suns’ offense has been one of the most consistent in the NBA throughout the year as the addition of Chris Paul (15.9 ppg, 8.8 apg) has obviously elevated the team on both ends of the floor. The Suns make 49 percent of their shots (2nd/NBA) as well as 55.8 percent from two-point range. Seven players are averaging double figures, led by Devin Booker (25.2 ppg, 4.6 apg) who has been able to concentrate only on being a shooter with Paul’s Hall of Fame prowess on their point. He is at a career best 49,6 percent going into the game with the Heat. Deandre Ayton (14.5 ppg, 10.9 rog) has become one of the toughest matchups in the league in the paint.

Key Suns Stat:

Mikail Bridges (13.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg) has turned into a huge role player as a solid starter in Phoenix while shooting 53.8 percent from the floor and 42.6 from three-point range. Bridges has averaged 14.6 points over his last five and has become a consistent lockdown type of defender for coach Monty Williams.

X-Factor:

The Suns are shooting at a 50.9 percent clip over their last five games as Paul carries forward in the probing of opponents’ defenses. Cam Payne is stepping up off the bench with 8.2 points and 3.6 assists over that period.

Advantage, Miami:

Miami Heat LogoThe Heat plays defense at a high enough level to have an impact on this game, especially at home. They turn teams over at a 15.3 percent clip which is 8th in the NBA and they allow opponents to shoot at a 44.3 percent clip which is second in the league. They are holding opponents to a league low 40.3 percent in the paint. Miami defended at a high level in two of these three losses on this streak. The problem was lack of offensive execution in the loss to Memphis and in Sunday’s loss to the Pacers.

Key Heat Stat:

Bam Adabayo’s matchup with Deandre Ayton could be the single most key matchup in this game. Adabayo is second in scoring at 19.2 points and leads in rebounding at 9.5 boards per game. Ayton is a shot blocker who can worry him on the defensive end and he has enough power in his attack to be able to dominate when Phoenix has the ball.

X-Factor:

It’s been a struggle for Miami to find it’s 3-ball this season as Tyler Herro has struggled at 31.7 percent while Duncan Robinson is at a 38.2 percent post as he takes about 20 percent of Miami’s threes although he is way off of the 44.6 percent of last season. Kendrick Nunn’s matchup on the point with Paul is a key since Goran Dragić is still struggling with injuries.

Winner: Heat (+1½) 113, Suns 111

The Bets
Miami Heat +1½
-107
Miami
+110
OVER 215½
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.