The Phoenix Suns face the Miami Heat 3PM PST (AZ time)/6PM EST in a game that will decide one of the two final teams of the 2013 NBA Summer League Tournament.
The Suns' Summer League Domination
The Phoenix Suns are not only one of just two undefeated (5-0) teams remaining in Vegas, they're also highest scoring team in Summer League, blitzing their opponents to the tune of 93.6 points per game in Vegas. In the NBA's regular 48 minute game, that pace would lead to a 112 ppg average. Hornacek definitely wasn't lying when he said he would make this team run. Run N Gun, Summer Suns!
The Suns are also scoring efficiently, shooting 48% from the field and 42% from the three point line. The team's free shooting has been subpar at a mere 69%, but the Summer Suns are getting to the line 33.4 times a game, which not only leads Summer League but is a higher average than any team in the 2012-13 regular season. The team that shot the most free throws last year (shocker: the LA Lakers) got to the line 27.9 times per game, so that show the Suns are REALLY attacking the rim.
The Miami Heat team is 4-2 in Las Vegas and is averaging 82.6 points per game. They set this year's Summer League scoring record by absolutely demolishing the Knicks in a 113-66 game on Wednesday so just like the Suns, this team can score.
Miami also played in the Orlando Summer League with several undrafted rookies such as Myck Kabongo, Jackie Carmichael, and DJ Stephens. Although those guys won't be playing tonight, Miami's Las Vegas squad also boasts some quality Summer League talent in players like James Ennis (Miami's second round pick this year), Jarvis Varnado (Miami's second round pick in 2010), Erick Griffin (undrafted 2012), and DJ Kennedy (a D-League All-Star and Champion).
Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will not be playing tonight because they are afraid of Archie Goodwin. Some champs they are.
Back to the Finals - 20 years later
The last time the Phoenix Suns competed for a championship was in 1993. I'd argue that this 2013 iteration is even more equipped (relatively) to bring home the title they're competing for. EYES ON THE PRIZE.
Both of these teams like to score so I expect lots of offense in this one. When it's all said and done, the Suns have more NBA talent on their Summer League roster than the Heat do. If they are indeed playing to win in Vegas, they should be able to take care of business against Miami and earn a seat in the championship game tomorrow. The winner of this game plays the winner of the Charlotte-Golden State game for all the summer marbles.
In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. The Suns can start be defeating the reigning NBA champions tonight. The stakes are high in this one, folks, so be sure to tune in to see what the likes of Kendall Marshall, PJ Tucker, the Morris twins, and of course, ARCHIE "BEST PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS" GOODWIN have in store in an effort to cement the Suns' place in Summer League History.
NOTE: This is my first ever Suns Game Preview/Thread so let's hope I can be some good luck for the team going forward (or at least not bring bad luck).