Practice Report: Phoenix Suns Prepare For LeBron James

Mike Ehrmann

A look into what the Suns are going up against tonight taking on LeBron James.

The Phoenix Suns face one of the toughest tasks put in front you Tuesday night when they square off with LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

James is coming off arguably his worst game of the season posting 13 points on 4-13 shooting including 1-6 from behind the arc in Miami's loss to the Jazz on Saturday.

The man with the responsibility of trying to force James into two consecutive poor outings is Suns forward P.J. Tucker.

"He's strong, he's quick," said Tucker after morning shoot around about James.  He's all rolled into one so you just gotta play.  Most of the time big guys aren't fast and fast guys aren't big, makes it kind of double trouble.  You gotta play him a little differently."

Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek experienced going up against an all-time player in Michael Jordan.  The two squared off 20 times (regular season) with Jordan coming out on top in 12 of the 20.

"It's just a heck of challenge," said Hornacek on the opportunity to go up against an all-time great.  "You're focused in, everybody is competitive, everybody wants to win the game and it's a great feeling when you can beat one of those top teams that has a great player on it."

James has faced the Suns 20 times in his career.  He's hit the 40-point mark twice, 30 seven times, 20 nine times and in the teens twice.   Coincidently LeBron compiled the same record against Phoenix, 12-8, which Jordan did versus Hornacek.

Phoenix has managed a 6-4 record vs. James when he has taken five three -point attempts or more.  The problem with that angle is nine of those 10 games were when he was with the Cavaliers.  When LeBron has attempted 10 or more free throws he has a 4-1 advantage.

Turning James into a jump shooter is far from a guaranteed win with how improved his shot has become over the years.  Dealing with him shooting from outside as opposed to being a freight train to the front of the rim is the lesser of two evils and probably the best chance Tucker and the Suns have of slowing the four-time MVP down.

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