After playing uncharacteristically poor defense in the first three meetings of the season, the Miami Heat will try to go back to basics tonight against the Phoenix Suns at 7:30. Erik Spoelstra said at Monday's shootaround, "We know playing like this isn't going to get us anywhere. We know where (the holes are), it's time to do it."
Miami let the penetrate-and-kick game of the New York Knicks scorch the Heat from the outside. Against Denver, the frontline players Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee scored on a plethora of second-chance opportunities. Point guards Ty Lawson and Andre Miller also scored plenty of points in the paint as well. The Suns start Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola in the frontline, so perhaps the Heat players will find themselves at a deficit on the glass again.
Phoenix is coming off a blowout loss to the 2-0 Orlando Magic. The team features two players during Miami's most recent rebuilding era, Michael Beasley and Jermaine O'Neal. Beasley starts as the Suns' small forward -- I'm sure LeBron James is salivating at this opportunity -- and will get plenty of scoring opportunities. It will be interesting to see how Miami matches up defensively with forwards Beasley and Scola. James defended Scola during the Olympics, but will he do that again tonight?
The Heat are coming off a dramatic win over the Denver Nuggets Saturday night, when Ray Allen's four-point play with six seconds left won the game. Chris Bosh scored 40 points against Denver, his high in a Heat uniform. The No. 4 pick in the 2003 Draft has historically performed well against the Suns. Since joining the Heat, Bosh has scored 35, 23 and 29 points against Phoenix, respectively (Miami only played the Suns once during last season's lockout-shortened year). The Heat center looks very comfortable in his role this season, so tonight could be another big night for Bosh.