Phoenix Suns vs Miami Heat

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Miami Heat take on the Phoenix Suns at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, Tuesday night beginning at 8 pm EST. Currently, the Suns are favored by a point, down from 1.5-points at the opening, while the total stands at 215.5-points, down from 217.5.

The Suns continued their winning ways by picking up a huge win over the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night at home by 17-points as they went in at the half by 15-points and never looked back as they picked up their 28th-win of the year and are currently a game ahead of the Lakers for 1st in the Pacific division. Important to note that Lebron James did not suit up for Los Angeles in the contest as the team shot 41% from the field while the Suns connected on 48% of their attempts while outrebounding the visitors by 10 (51-41). They were also able to cover as 10-point favs and are red-hot against the number lately covering in 8 of their last 10.

The Heat, on the other hand, have dropped 3-straight as they fell at home by 3 in overtime to the Indiana Pacers Sunday night as Miami allowed 7 different Pacers to post double-digits with Domantas Sabonis leading the way with 17 points and 11 boards. Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler each recorded double-doubles as well; however, they received less than stellar shooting nights from their role players as the Heat made just 40% of their shots while missing 28 of 37 shots from long-range. With the loss, the Heat not only fell to 2nd-place within the Southeast Division, but are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after failing to cover as 3.5-point favorites versus Indiana.

The Heat have dominated this series winning 7 of their last 10 versus the Suns; However, Phoenix are winners of 2 of their last 3 meetings, including 2-straight on the road versus Miami. And while the Suns have also covered in 2 of their last 3 versus Miami, the Heat are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 matchups.

Paul reaches milestone in win over Lakers

Chris Paul is posting some of his biggest shooting numbers this season in addition to dishing out an average of 9 dimes per game for a Phoenix team that is vying to capture the top-spot within the Western Conference. In the team’s matchup versus the Lakers, he posted a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, along with 13 assists to rack up his 10,000th assist for his career as the Suns out-lasted the shorthanded Lakers for their 28th win of the season. Furthermore, the win gave up a bit of a cushion over the Lakers for the top spot in the Pacific division.

“It’s amazing,” Suns coach Monty Williams said to AZ Central. “I remember when he was at Wake Forest and no one could see this on the horizon. It comes down to a ton of hard work, sacrifice and an unreal family, which he comes from. His dedication to the game.” Having Devin Booker in the back-court has certainly eased his transition after being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder as the guard is a pure shooter that is connecting on 50% of his shots from the floor along with a solid 36% from deep on the year.

On the other hand, the play of Deandre Ayton on both ends of the court has certainly benefitted the team as well as he is coming off a 26-point performance versus Los Angeles while recording 8 rebounds along with a block, his 7th after the All-Star break. The center posted a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds) versus the Heat in the team’s last matchup versus the Heat in August of last year on 7-15 shooting. Booker, however, was the player of the game as he finished 15 of 25 FG for 35 points. And despite the guard missing all 7 of his shots from long-range, the team landed 12 treys while shooting 48% as the team rebounded from a rough start to pick up the 7-point road win.

Heat drops to 2nd in division

After picking up 4-straight wins after the All-Star break, the Heat find themselves in a must-win situation after dropping 3-straight games, thus causing them to lose the top spot in the Southeast Division to the surging Atlanta Hawks. The offense, which has some of the worst offensive numbers in the league, is averaging just 102 points per game during this time.

Versus the Pacers, the team shot just 40% along with connecting on just 24% of their shots from 3-point range with Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro finishing a combined 3-17 in this area. Furthermore, Bam Adebayo, who led the team with 29 points, 10 rebounds, along with 3 blocks on 11-21 FG, committed 4 of the team’s 14 turnovers.

Butler, however, has continued to put up some big numbers throughout this season for Miami while posting a double-double versus the Pacers with 21 points and 15 boards (7 dimes), his 2nd double-double in 4 starts. On the other hand, consistent performances from remaining starters in Kelly Olynk, Kendrick Nunn, along with Robinson have been far and few in between during their 3-game skid, thus having many to wonder if the team should enter the trade market to bring in some additional offensive pieces.

Herro, despite posting double-figures in each of his last 5 starts, has had some shaky performances while going just 4-16 FG (0-7 3FG) versus the Pacers. However, he shined in the team’s last meeting versus the Suns as he and Robinson each led with 25 points on a combined 17-31 FG (5-16 from deep). Adebayo came 3 rebounds and an assist shy of a double-double while recording 3 blocks as the team shot 49% from the field. Butler did not suit up for the contest.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

And while the Suns are a dismal 2-6 ATS in their last 8 meetings versus the Heat at American Airlines Arena, the fact is that the team happens to be red-hot ATS while Miami continues to struggle in this area.  In fact, they have dropped 4 of their last 5 ATS at home.  The back-court combo of Paul and Booker will control the pace of this contest as I see the Suns grinding out a low-scoring victory versus the Heat.

Phoenix Suns -1

Want another opinion on this pick?


Full-Game Total Pick

The under has been the result in the majority of recent matchups for both these squads.  However, for this showdown, I will back the over as it has not only been the play in 3 of the last 5 meetings at American Airlines Arena, but is 6-0 in the last 6 matchups.  In all, the Suns are averaging 115 points in their last 7 versus the Heat while Miami posted 123 points on average during this time.  I see the over as being the strong play for this contest as well.

Over 215.5