PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns are nothing if not consistent. Saturday’s matchup against the Dwyane Wade-less Miami Heat followed the same forgettable script of most games this season. Start slow, fall...

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With Dwayne Wade out and LeBron sick, the Suns had a perfect opportunity to steal a game from the defending champs. Although the Suns played well considering they were going up against the Heat, it wasn't good enough in tonight's game. The Suns fall to 4-7 after this loss and the Heat move to 8-3.

Let's talk impressions on tonight's game:

Jared Dudley should not start: Tonight's 5 points on 1-4 shooting is not going to cut it. It appears to me that he coasts and isn't able to create any sort of offense. Dudley is only averaging 8.9 points per game and is average, at best, on defense. My choice to replace him is P. J. Tucker. Tucker has quickly become a fan-favorite for the Suns, provides tremendous defense, and hustles every single minute he is on the floor. Start him Gentry, he has earned it over Dudley.

The Suns have to play perfectly to win: The Suns kept it close tonight, tied at halftime and only down 4 going into the fourth quater. Phoenix was in this game tonight throughout it all. The bench played well for Suns, but when Marcin Gortat, Dudley, and Luis Scola combine for 11 points, I don't expect the Suns to win. We can not have a weak link if we want to win close games against teams like the Lakers, the Heat, or the Bulls.

Dragic is our future: Dragic finished with 12 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds, the kid can play. If he can be slightly more consistent from 3-point range, he could be an all star. He plays good defense and can finish on the fast break. Although the Suns picked Marshall, I don't expect Dragic to lose the starting position anytime soon.

P. J. Tucker is the type of player that every coach wants: He leaves nothing on the court, he plays shutdown defense, and just finds himself in the right places at the right time. He is the definition of a hustler and I think he should start. Not only should he start, he should be put on the other team's top scorer right off the bat.

Looking ahead: The Suns have lost 4 out of their last 5 games and their wins haven't come against the greatest of competition. They host the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday and could possibly get a win against them. If not against Portland, the Suns play New Orleans on Friday and could also get a win against the Hornets. We need a win, that much is clear.

Final - 11.17.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Miami Heat 23 29 23 22 97
Phoenix Suns 23 29 19 17 88

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The Miami HEAT have been resting in Phoenix since beating Denver on Thursday night. The Suns flew in late last night after losing to the Lakers. Yet, it's the HEAT that are hurting more than the Suns.

According to Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra about an hour and a half before tipoff, Dwyane Wade (sprained left foot) is definitely not playing against the Phoenix Suns tonight after missing the last game as well.

Spoelstra also mentioned that LeBron James (illness) is still a game-time decision, based on how he is feeling.

The HEAT without Wade and Spoelstra would still boast Suns-killer Chris Bosh, "perfect example of what the Miami Heat stand for" Udonis Haslem and sweet-shooting Ray Allen among their other supporting players.

But yet, without both players the HEAT suddenly look a lot more beatable. Expect LeBron to play, and play well.

The Suns, on the other hand, have no injuries big enough to keep people out. After a nasty fall the other night, Markieff Morris played pretty well against the Lakers and will likely be just fine tonight. He's got a "hard ass", as Seth likes to say a lot. Seth knows what he's talking about folks - he watched Morris as every practice and game all last year before moving to DC.


The 4-6 Suns host the 7-3 Heat tomorrow in what might be the scene of a murder. Let's hope we surprise everybody or just don't get throttled.

Well Suns fans, they're here. The Miami Heat come rolling into town tonight and in case you live under a rock or this is your first time to watch basketball, they're really good. They're the defending champions, they have the best player alive on their roster, and have one of the best benches in the NBA.

If the Suns want any chance of winning this game, literally every single player has to be on their A-game. We can't have Beasley slacking and not see players stroll right behind him. Dudley can't coast and expect to find himself open all night. Gortat and Scola have to stay out of foul trouble.

The only way we win is if either we play perfectly or the Heat decide to forfeit for some reason.

Anyways, let's look at the key match-ups:

Goran Dragic vs. Mario Chalmers/Norris Cole: This is the only match-up that I feel borderline optimistic about. Dragic has looked impressive so far in his return to Phoenix. Cole has shown signs of being a pretty decent point guard and Chalmers has the ability to shoot from outside and can also physically throw the ball to LeBron James, which is all the Heat need him for anyways. If anybody for the Suns has a a decent game, I would say it would be Dragic.

Marcin Gortat vs. Chris Bosh: When it comes to rebounding and being a defensive presence, Gortat might be an equal to Bosh, but Gortat does not have the scoring abilities that Bosh has. Right now, Bosh is averaging slightly more than 19 points per game and should be able to get his average against Phoenix. Edge goes to the Heat in the match-up of the bigs.

The Heat Bench vs. The Suns Bench: I think we can safely say the Heat also have the advantage in this one too folks. Ray Allen may not have the defensive capabilities that he had a few seasons ago due to a lingering ankle injury, but the man can still shoot better than anybody on Phoenix's roster. Allen, Rashard Lewis, and Udonis Haslem trump Shannon Brown, P.J. Tucker, and Jermaine O'Neal. Advantage favors the Heat in bench production.

LeBron James vs. The Suns Roster: LeBron is currently averaging almost 25 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, and 6.8 assists per game. The Suns don't really have anybody that can stop him. To be honest, I would not be surprised if he drops 40 points on us. LeBron is better than any single player on the Phoenix roster, he knows it, we know it, there's nothing we can really do about it.

The Bottom Line: I predict the Heat to win this one pretty easily. Now, it's a long season and sometimes teams get upset in the regular season, so maybe there's a 1% chance we steal this one. I don't count on it though and I expect the Suns to fall to 4-7 after this game.

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