March 20, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) drives past Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Preview: Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat

The Phoenix Suns(1-2) will take on the defending champs Miami Heat(2-1) tonight in south beach in hopes of upsetting the defending champs. After last night’s pure implosion against the Orlando Magic the Suns should look to redeem themselves against Miami although the odds aren’t exactly on their side. Miami are the favorite in tonight’s game by a margin of 13.5 points according to ESPN.com and with the circumstances as they are with the Suns coming off a back to back they’ll have their work cutout for them.

Keys to the game Suns:

The Miami Heat are second to none in terms of talent and the Suns will lose 99 times out of 100 if they just go out on the court and try to blatantly stomp the champs in front of their home crowd. If the Suns want the win tonight they must play smart basketball which means no turnovers as the Heat thrive of turnovers and turn it into a transition basket. The Suns will also need to work the ball inside, as good as Miami is their interior defense isn’t causing anyone to shake in their boots. The Suns have Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola to attack the Miami interior and it’ll be relied upon Gortat and Scola to clinch the W tonight.

Keys to the game Heat:

The Heat’s game plan is pretty straight forward in this match-up as the Suns game plan as it always is which is to push the ball. Miami would love nothing more than to get into a run and gun game with Phoenix since the Heat has the advantage in that kind of style of basketball. Miami doesn’t exactly have to take their game to the next level to take on a mediocre Suns team. The Suns have fallen to Miami in their last 4 match-ups and the Heat have won on an average of 11.75 points.

The X-Factor!

The X Factor in this game will be the Suns bench. The Suns have some very talented defenders like Wesley Johnson and P.J Tucker on the bench who can match up well against Miami’s ultimate 6th man Ray Allen who’s been red hot to start the season and most recently completed a 4-point play during the final seconds in the Heat’s last game against the Denver Nuggets to steal a win away from Denver. The Suns bench has been less than mediocre thus far and a good performance from them tonight will go a long way.

Key Match-Up

Tonight’s key match-up in my eyes is between the small forwards! LeBron James and Michael Beasley. Beasley was Dwyane Wade’s former wing-man before James, and if Beasley able to hold his own or maybe even out play LeBron, it will be a huge step forward in Beasley’s improvement as a basketball player to go up against the best player in the league and hold his own or even win the match-up and without question will do wonders for his confidence.

Tags: Lebron James Miami Heat Michael Beasley NBA Phoenix Suns

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