In the first quarter, the Miami Heat immediately came out swinging while using their newfound ball movement and spacing to score multiple baskets. Despite a couple early turnovers, the Heat began dominant over the Phoenix Suns. One thing that’s new for Miami is how involved everybody is getting, it’s awesome to see and everybody appears comfortable.
Goran Dragic really pushed the pace early, but there were times when he was out of control and in doing so turned over the ball. One thing that was missing in the early portion first quarter was the presence of Hassan Whiteside. It’s hard to justify him sitting early when both Alex Len and Tyson Chandler are starting.
Wade looked dominant scoring 6 points in a row while utilizing his bag of tricks in its entirety. Amar’e Stoudemire also appeared very healthy battling hard on both ends of the floor. Gerald Green also saw some minutes after not seeing floor time for the last 3 games, whether or not this dispels the rumors of him being in the doghouse are unclear.
Whiteside began the second quarter with a vicious block on Mirza Teletovic. The Heat reserves continue to play very well together, with most of them being so young they play at a ridiculous pace. Additionally, Winslow, Richardson and Whiteside are defensive monsters so they’re a threat there as well.
The Suns battled back with multiple fast break points, but Miami didn’t let up with Dragic and Green delivering on the offensive end. Eventually, Wade and Deng returned only for Wade to make more shots. Rookie Josh Richardson has been fantastic in his elevated role and that didn’t stop as he scored multiple baskets.
The Heat finished the half firing on all cylinders, with Phoenix offering little threat.
Miami continued their dominance in the third quarter as they maintained a 20 point lead. The reserves played admirably, and Whiteside continued to play like a house on fire. Unfortunately, Richardson appeared to dislocate his finger on a chase down block near the end of the quarter, and went to the locker room. (He would later return with his hand taped)
Joe Johnson appears to have a solid role on the Heat, one thing I think goes underrated regarding his game is how strong he is. There were times when Phoenix players were coming at him and he proceeded to body him out of the way with ease.
As the game appeared out of reach, Green and McRoberts returned to the floor. Green put up a lot of shots, but was cold. Whiteside however would continue to dominate. Slowly the Suns creeped back into the game thanks to a hot-shooting Devin Booker, forcing the Heat to put Wade back into the game. The Heat would step on the gas to end the fourth, effectively destroying any chance the Suns had.
Though the Suns had their moments, and their young core is very intriguing. They just didn’t have any answers for the Heat, but it will be interesting to see how they look after the offseason.
The Heat next play the lowly Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night on the road.