Below is Miami’s record against the top-five fastest NBA teams (last 10 games) this season;
- New Orleans Pelicans 106.5 pace: 0-2
- Phoenix Suns 105.0 pace: 1-0
- Los Angeles Lakers 103.4: pace 0-1
- Atlanta Hawks 103.4 pace: 1-1
- Golden State Warriors 103.1 pace: 0-2
TOTAL: 2 wins - 6 losses
The 126-115 victory over the Suns in November stands as one of two wins, against six losses, to teams on the run, including the probable lottery Lakers and Hawks teams.
For a team averaging 101 points, scoring 126 points again might be problematic, and the 113 points versus the Lakers seems more the norm.
The Suns lost to Hawks, 113-112, today, and will come into Miami on the second game of a back-to-back set, so the Heat might catch a break there.
In their first game versus Phoenix, both Josh Richardson and Dion Waiters fouled out defending the speedy Suns team.
Hassan Whiteside had a monster game against a team that featured youthful exuberance over a dominant, but slow, presence in the paint like Andre Drummond.
Miami has won 3 of their last 4 games, with the only loss coming at the hands of a team that ran the Heat out of American Airlines Arena.
Losing 6 of 8 games to teams among the top 5 in pace provides food for thought in Monday night’s showdown, although the Suns at 19-46 have no incentive to win the game.