Coming off huge back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Lakers on the road and the Denver Nuggets at home, the Phoenix Suns are once again tested, with a tough road B2B against a couple Eastern Conference thugs. Tonight, they'll be squaring off against Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and (not so much) Chris Bosh when they visit the Miami Heat.
It'll be a difficult business for the Suns to try and extend their current three-game win streak. The Heat aren't playing cohesive basketball just yet, but the "Miami thrice" are awfully nice. However, if the Suns are going to steal a game on this back-to-back, this is the one. The Heat, as a whole, are much smaller than tomorrow night's foe, the Orlando Magic. Down one Robin Lopez and up one Earl Barron, the Suns will appreciate the lack of proficient size on Miami's roster. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Joel Anthony, Juwan Howard and Udonis Haslem are not the most intimidating bunch, so Phoenix should be able to hang reasonably close in the battle of the boards.
Chris Bosh would normally be a factor, but his rebounding numbers are way down early this season (from 10.8 RPG in '09-'10 to 6.0 so far this year). However, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will likely consider the Hedo Turkoglu-on-Bosh mismatch to be prime territory for exploitation tonight. Phoenix's help defenders will get a nice workout down low.
But, of course, it's the Heat's back court that's the real problem. Grant Hill, Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley and Goran Dragic will have their hands full trying to keep both James and Wade from penetrating the lane at will. But I think head coach Alvin Gentry would argue that if only James and Wade are trying to beat you, you've got a good chance for victory.
Tonight will be yet another test in an early Suns season filled with them. So far, though, the team has performed admirably in the face of superb competition so it shouldn't be too surprising if the team comes out swinging.