(6-4, 5-5 ATS)
(6-4, 4-6 ATS)
Last week, the Miami Heat had a heck of a time trying to stop some of the best teams from the Western Conference, namely the Utah Jazz. Now, they welcome the Phoenix Suns to South Beach for an NBA betting battle on Wednesday night.
The Suns have rebounded nicely from a poor start to the season by winning five of their last six overall and going 4-2 ATS to show for those six games. They have scored at least 99 points in each of their L/9 and have really started to get their offense in gear in a year in which they are going to have to outscore everyone to win. So far, so good, as Phoenix is pouring in 108.2 points per game this year and ranks in the Top 5 in the league in field goal percentage and three point shooting percentage. To no one’s surprise, G Jason Richardson and G Steve Nash are really running the show. Nash has put together 19.5 points and 9.6 assists per game, while Richardson is the team’s leading scorer with 21.2 points per game. Both men are shooting at least 44 percent from three point range and are really spearheading the effort to run up and down the court on a regular basis. The lost man in this offense seems to be F Channing Frye, who was a three point shooting machine in 2009-10. This year, he only has 7.7 points per game for seventh on the team and is shooting just 38.0 percent from the field for the campaign.
Then there is Miami, which has been up and down all season long in a year in which it was supposed to simply dominate. This six game home stand is currently four games old, but the Heat are just 2-2 SU and are 0-4 ATS on it to date. The question is still out there whether this team belongs to G Dwyane Wade or F LeBron James. Wade is averaging 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game, while James is putting together 22.3 points, 8.9 assists, and 5.6 boards on the average night. The problem with this team is attacking the inside. There is just no bulk in the paint, and driving to the hoop has been a huge problem. F Chris Bosh isn’t proving to be strong enough defensively to stop, and F Udonis Haslem is a bit undersized to be doing all of the dirty work. As a result, C Joel Anthony has been getting abused while he has been on the court, while C Zydrunas Ilgauskas has clearly had his best defensive days behind him.
Phoenix’s problem is that it doesn’t attack the basket. This is a jump shooting team. If you’re going to try to shoot with Wade and James, you’re going to be sorely beaten. That’s exactly what happens to the Suns tonight, as they get shot down by the “Big Three” in Miami.
NBA Free Pick: Miami Heat -8.5