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5 ways Miami Heat matches up with Phoenix Suns in a battle of 5-2 teams

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So far the Suns and Heat have both exceeded preseason expectations.

NBA: Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat challenge the Phoenix Suns in the Arizona desert, before Miami leaves for its showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers in Dwyane Wade’s new home town.

Both Heat and Suns have identical 5-2 records, so how do they compare?

1 – The Suns win despite giving up over 104 points per game in 4 of 5 wins: 119-109, 114-105, 121-110, 130-122, 124-95. Miami surrendered over 104 points in only one of their wins: 129-100, 106-97, 112-97, 131-126 (OT), 120-101.

2 – The Heat leave a lot points on the table at the free-throw line: 144 of 201 equals 57 misses for Miami, 140 of 171 equals 31 fails for Suns. While the Heat had 30 more free-throw attempts, they only got 4 more points from them. Compared to Suns, the Heat lost 20 bonus points thus far.

3 – The Suns starters are more efficient scorers with a FG%/3P%/FT% line of 49/41/85 versus Miami starters line of 46/40/68. Miami’s bench is more efficient than the Suns’ bench unit, especially from the 3-point range: Miami 47/39/77 versus Phoenix 43/31/80.

4 – Overall both teams are closely matched in net rating with Suns third at 7.8 and Heat fourth at 6.3. Both teams have identical 5-2 records.

5 – One clear advantage for Miami lies in drawing shooting fouls, where they lead the NBA with a FTA rate of 0.332. However the Heat have the highest TOV% at 18.3%, compared to the Suns 15.9%.

All in all, the game promises to be an interesting on as the Heat face an underrated Suns team with newly found guidance from Ricky Rubio.