clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game Preview: Suns look to get back on track against Miami

The Suns are in search of their 9th win of the season as they prepare for the Miami Heat.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (8-4) @ Miami Heat (6-7)

When: 5:30 p.m. AZ Time

Where: FTX Arena (at least for now) — Miami, Florida

Watch: Bally Sports AZ

Listen: 98.7 FM

DraftKings Betting Lines: Miami -1.5 favorites, over/under 217

The Phoenix Suns will look to get back on track after a sloppy loss to the Magic in Orlando on Friday night.

Miami has gotten off to a slow start this season, but they currently do hold a 5-4 home record and have won their last two contests. The Suns have had some trouble on the road early on this season with a 2-3 record, while their home record sits at a pristine 6-1.

Chris Paul’s status remains in question, as the veteran point guard is gearing towards a return, but the Suns won’t rush him.

Monty Williams stated: “As much as he wants to get out there, there’s no way we’re going to push it in any regard. We just have to wait and see. Unless he’s 150%, we’re not going to put him on the floor.”

Starting Lineups


  • Cam Payne*
  • Devin Booker
  • Mikal Bridges
  • Torrey Craig
  • Deandre Ayton


  • Kyle Lowry
  • Max Strus*
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Caleb Martin
  • Bam Adebayo

*dependent on status of Paul, Herro



  • Landry Shamet (concussion-like symptoms) OUT
  • Chris Paul (right heel soreness) is questionable
  • Cameron Johnson (knee) is OUT
  • Jae Crowder (not with team) is OUT


  • Tyler Herro (ankle) is questionable
  • Victor Oladipo (knee) is OUT
  • Dewayne Dedmon (foot) is questionable
  • Omer Yurtseven (ankle) is OUT

What to Watch

Battle of the bigs: Ayton vs. Adebayo

This will be a game that Deandre Ayton will need to have his hands all over on both ends if the Suns want to escape Miami with a win.

Ayton has had a slow start to the season, battling an ankle injury and inconsistent play. He’s also struggled to get to the line, attempting just 1.9 free throws per game, a career-low.

Phoenix needs continued growth from both Ayton and Bridges desperately if they want to reach the status of being a title contender. Chris Paul isn’t getting any younger, so it’s time for the young core to soar and take matters into their own hands.

That starts in the regular season. I’d like to see Deandre be more assertive and engaged, because we know he can do it in the playoffs more often than not. Tonight’s battle against Bam Adebayo would be a great place to start.

Role Players shining

Miami has been getting steady contributions from their role players for several years now, and their depth + system is similar to Phoenix in the sense that anyone can beat you on any night.

Cam Payne has been magnificent filling in for the injured Chris Paul the past two games, averaging 22.5 points, 6.0 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steals on a 50/47/100 shooting split.

On Miami’s side, Phoenix will have to contain guards Max Strus and Gabe Vincent and potentially the streaky shooting Duncan Robinson who can erupt at any moment. Miami has been a hit-or-miss team from deep this season, but hit 16 of their 41 attempts in a 132-115 win over the Hornets on Saturday.

The Suns will need to play team defense and close out hard on the shooters in this one. Especially if Tyler Herro (questionable) does decide to suit up.

Crowder to Miami?

Over the weekend, Ian Begley reported that the Suns and Heat have reignited Jae Crowder trade discussions. A name that Phoenix has insisted on being involved in any Crowder trade is Miami Heat guard Max Strus.

Read Dave King’s take on the Miami options here.

Other names or pieces would have to be involved of course, but Crowder to Miami does make sense on the surface. I’m keeping an eye on three Eastern Conference teams in particular in Miami, Milwaukee and Cleveland in the Crowder “sweepstakes”.


Suns take it in dramatic fashion, 110-109.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun