clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ReHeat: Wade-less Heat easily dispatch Phoenix Suns 95-83

  • Dwyane Wade's knee apparently didn't enjoy the long flight from Miami to Phoenix and refused to cooperate in time for Thursday night's clash against the Suns. No matter, the Heat still have two All-Stars more than capable of shredding apart one of the league's least effective defenses while the Suns were also busy incorporating three new players. Well, just two (Mickael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat) as Vince Carter unsurprisingly sat the game out as well.
  • An unusual Suns starting lineup was needed after the Orlando Magic trade that featured two small forwards, two centers and their leader Steve Nash was effective in the early going as the Heat came out a bit flat and were down by double digits 10-21 in just 8 minutes of play. Much like their previous Mavs game had started, the Heat stormed back and only allowed one more point for the rest of the quarter to make it 19-22. Miami took over the lead in the first half by outscoring the Suns 26-17 in the second quarter and never relinquished the lead as LeBron asserted his dominance and the Suns reserves simply could not make up the difference once Nash rested.
  • Only foul trouble limited LeBron in this game but his penetration straight down the middle and thunderous dunk while being fouled by three Suns players was more than enough for the price of admission. But this was a team effort guided by the steady play of the PG tag-team duo of Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers. Chris Bosh's jumper was looking extra silky on a night that the Heat needed strong games from both of their two healthy stars but the new fascination with attempting them beyond the arc needs to be quashed immediately.
  • With Nash not scoring and a quiet Grant Hill, only Jared Dudley's career high 33 points was the only factor keeping this game from being a blowout by the end of the third quarter. The Suns never truly threatened the Heat in crunch time as that would have actually required making defensive stops, a bit of a stretch for the team at this point.
  • Chalmers and Goran Dragic were getting on each other's nerves a bit in the second half. Good to see Chalmers not backing down and keep his head in the game.
  • Just 12 assists for the team as a whole, compared with 18 from Steve Nash alone, indicates there wasn't too much ball movement needed to break down the Suns team and there was a whole lot of individualistic play. This won't work against the Lakers on Christmas Day but if the Heat's defense continues to be this solid then it may not matter regardless.
  • Mike Miller's team-leading +17 may have been more luck than anything but if good things are happening while he's on the floor then there's not much reason to question it. He's tentative with his shot, unselfish to a fault, but his steady hand on offense with his ballhandling makes Eddie House (DNP) even more irrelevant than he was before Miller came back. James Jones doesn't seem ready to relinquish any minutes either as he continues to strike from long range and getting in the way of the opposing team around their rim. It will be interesting to keep track of how the rotation shakes itself out eventually but perhaps a small trade might balance out the roster and address the need for another power forward in Haslem's absence.