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.

Miami Heat 97, Phoenix Suns 88 Firepower is not something to associate with the Phoenix Suns this season. Although they rank seventh in the NBA in scoring offense, pace has something to do with...

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Here is a look around the rest of the web with what others had to say about last night's game, starting with the opposing perspective:

Los Angeles Lakers outgun Phoenix Suns; Final Score 114-102 - Silver Screen and Roll

The final game of the Bernie Bickerstaff era came to an end with a win over the Phoenix Suns. It was a game without much of showing defensively from either team, but as it goes, the Los Angeles Lakers simply had more firepower. Pau Gasol set the tempo draining wide open jumpers in the first quarter showing the qualities he can bring to the floor when his future coach Mike D'Antoni takes the reigns going forward. The Suns went blow for blow with the Lakers through the first three quarters but once the final quarter rolled around there wasn't enough left in the tank to finish the game, finally conceding victory. Lakers over Suns, 114-102.

Suns vs. Lakers final score: Kobe Bryant pours in 31 as L.A. prevails, 114-102 - SB Nation LA

The Lakers used their superior size to win the rebounding battle and took care of the ball while limiting turnovers to defeat the Suns at Staples Center. Los Angeles (4-5) was active and energetic on both ends of the floor and used its exceptional length inside to overwhelm Phoenix (4-6) in the paint. The Lakers won the rebounding battle by a convincing margin of 48-38 and had a balanced effort as they embraced a watered-down version of head coach Mike D'Antoni's new offense.

Nothing shocking here. The Lakers are a team that was built to win a championship now...They have superstars galore and the luxury tax to go with it. The Suns, on the other hand, are a team looking to re-establish themselves with young and inexpensive talent on cap-friendly contracts that provide the team with flexibility going forward.

The Lakers underperformed to start the season 1-4, which quicly resulted in the firing on ex-head coach Mike Brown, and the hiring of offensive guru Mike D'Antoni to right the ship. The Suns, many will argue, had actually exceeded expectations to begin the season going 4-5 thanks in large part to the "never say die" attitude that this team has adopted as their own.

At some point though, the odds even out and the chips fall where they should. Tonight was a perfect example of that. Although the Suns fought valiantly for four quarters, the fire-power of the Lakers was just too much for them to overcome in the end.

Here's what some Suns-friendly sites had to say about last night's game:

Phoenix Suns can't keep up in season's 1st matchup against Los Angeles Lakers - AZ Central

The Lakers pulled away in the second half Friday night at Staples Center for a 114-102 victory over the Suns in their final game led by interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff but with D’Antoni’s influence all over the effort, with five Lakers scoring in double figures.

The Suns’ starters managed not to dig a double-digit first-quarter hole for a fourth consecutive game, but the defense was not any better. The Suns just kept up with a style that D’Antoni’s naysayers would argue is also his — lack of defense.

Los Angeles Lakers 114, Phoenix Suns 102 — Knockout run - Valley of the Suns

We have learned that there is no quit in this team and that for stretches in a game the Suns will outwork a team to fight their way back into the contest. Occasionally they will have enough in the tank to fight all the way back (see Cleveland), but more often than not the more talented team will make that one last spurt to finish Phoenix off.

Along with Paul Coro's take on the lack of defense...which was certainly a big part of the loss, again, we see a familiar theme develop.

Perhaps Suns' head coach Alvin Gentry said it best:

"That team is in another area as to where we are and where we're trying to get to,'' Gentry said. "They've got much bigger fish to fry, and we've got to get ourselves to the point where we become significant again. And the only way to do that is to be consistent.''

If nothing else, it's refreshing to hear this kind of honesty from the head coach. Gentry's right, the Suns simply aren't in the same league as powerhouse teams like the Lakers, Thunder, and Heat right now. Hopefully that is something they will continue to build toward, but as of now, the Suns are a mediocre team at best.

The Suns' effort and fight was commendable last night, and there were quite a few positives to take away from the game as well; but ultimately the better team won...as expected.

With just under two minutes to play in the third quarter, Marcin Gortat tied the score at 84 with a follow layup that put the Suns in position to steal one in Staples Center with another furious...

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The Phoenix Suns started out the game hot offensively. Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley were both active as scorers and playmakers early in the game. In fact, as Paul Coro tweeted, "Each Suns point in the first quarter was scored or assisted by Dragic or Beasley."

Unfortunately though, the Lakers were even hotter and had outscored the Suns 35-30 by the end of the first quarter, in great part due to the hot shooting of Metta World Peace of all people, and especially Pau Gasol who scored 10 straight points for the Lakers going 5-5 on 20-foot jump shots one after the other.

The Suns continued to fight in the second quarter with Sebastian Telfair, Markieff Morris, Shannon Brown, P.J. Tucker, and even Jermaine O'Neal contributing in some way or another. In fact, Jermaine O'Neal started mixing it up with Dwight Howard and seemingly causing the Lakers' big man to get flustered and taken out of the game to a certain extent.

The Suns' bench helped the Suns not only keep the game close, but they helped orchestrate a 15-0 run that helped the Suns eventually pull ahead by as many as five points, up 55-50 with four minutes left in the second quarter. However, the Lakers battled back as the Suns started missing the same kinds of shots they were making earlier in the quarter, and L.A. was able to regain the lead up 62-57 at the end of the first half.

In the third quarter, the Suns and Lakers continued their back and forth scoring, with the Lakers holding serve and playing well enough to keep the lead. The Suns were kept alive mostly by the play of Luis Scola and Goran Dragic who hit difficult shots to keep Phoenix within striking distance and even tying in once again 84-84 at one point. The rest of the Suns didn't necessarily play poorly, but watching them you definitely noticed they were missing some easy opportunities at times...I'm looking at you Gortat.

Then came the Kobe Bryant who once again turned into the Black Mamba to hit a couple difficult shots, draw the foul to get to the line, and then steal the ball from Shannon Brown to score on a fast break at the other end...all in a matter of minutes. The Lakers were able to extend their lead to 92-84 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the same Suns bench that was able to make a 15-0 run against mostly Lakers' starters was out-matched by one of the weakest benches in the league. Largely behind the play of Jordan Hill, yes Jordan Hill, the Lakers were able to extend the lead early in the 4th quarter to go up by as many as 15 points (101-86) with nine minutes left to play.

The Suns starters returned after a disappointing showing by the bench, minus Marcin Gortat who they left on the bench in favor of Jermaine O'Neal, and were able to at least stop the bleeding if nothing else. However, they were unable to ever mount any sort of comeback this time, and Alvin Gentry finally waived the white flag with around two minutes to go bringing in Kendall Marshall, Wesley Johnson, and Luke Zeller to finish out the game as the Lakers were able to hold on to win it 114-102.

The Suns were led by Goran Dragic's 22 points, 7 assists, and 2 steals. Luis Scola also posted an impressive 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant's 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Metta Word Peace also played his best game of the season posting 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

Both teams shot the ball at around 50% tonight, but L.A. shot the ball slightly better from three going 8-21 compared to 5-14 for the Suns. The Lakers also capitalized on their trips to the free throw line shooting 22-28 from the charity stripe compared to an abysmal 7-15 for the Suns. In addition, L.A. also won the rebounding battle 48-38, and committed less turnovers than the Suns by a margin of 11 to 15.

The Lakers improve to 4-5 on the season as the Suns drop to 4-6 before heading back home to play against the Miami Heat tomorrow.

Hang in there Suns fans...

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