Heat Visit Suns: Facts And Figures

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Tonight's projected starting lineups and team leaders, milestones, figures behind the figures, and maybe a prediction or two.

Injury Report:
Phoenix center Channing Frye is out for the season with an enlarged heart. Miami will be missing Dexter Pittman with a strained quadriceps, maybe for the entire season. The Heat may also sit PG Mario Chalmers (strained right triceps) and SG Dwyane Wade (sprained left foot), although both are listed as questionable.

Starting Lineup/Team Stats: (MPG, PPG, RPG, APG, SPG, BPG); PER
Heat:
PG - Norris Cole (19.9, 4.8, 1.4, 2.1, 0.3, 0.1); 3.8
SG - Ray Allen (26.9, 12.4, 3.0. 2.4, 1.3, 0.2); 19.5
SF - Shane Battier (25.2, 7.0, 2.1, 0.8, 0.7, 1.0); 10.5
PF - LeBron James (35.9, 24.8, 9.2, 6.8, 0.8, 1.1); 30.4
C - Chris Bosh (32.2, 19.2, 7.1, 1.3, 0.8, 1.3); 24.7

Suns:
PG - Goran Dragic (33.9, 16.7, 2.7, 7.2, 1.8, 0.2); 21.8
SG - Jared Dudley (28.3, 8.9, 2.4, 1.6, 0.8, 0.2); 9.5
SF - Michael Beasley (29.7, 13.2, 5.1, 3.0, 0.5, 0.9); 10.4
PF - Luis Scola (31.4, 15.6, 8.8, 2.0, 1.2, 0.8); 19.8
C - Marcin Gortat (34.1, 11.7, 10.2, 0.7, 0.8, 3.2); 18.4

Common Thread:
Fifth-year Suns starting small forward Michael Beasley played the first two seasons of his career with the Heat, averaging 14.3 points in 28 minutes per game. He spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons in Miami, playing 159 games. 17th year veteran Suns reserve center Jermaine O'Neill spent the same period in South Beach, averaging 13.4 points and 6.5 boards through 97 games.

Heat reserve guard James Jones, now in his 10th season, spent two seasons with the Suns, in 2005-06 and 2006-07. He averaged eight points per contest while hitting 38 percent of his three-point attempts in 151 Phoenix games.

Milestones:
If Mario Chalmers plays, it will be his 300th contest as a member of the Heat.
Chris Bosh needs three more field goals to give him 990, moving him past Voshon Lenard into 18th on the all-time list.
Nine rebounds will move Joel Anthony past Bimbo Coles into 19th with 1070.
Seven rebounds for LeBron James will move him past Tim Hardaway into 13th all-time, with 1,181.
With eight more rebounds, forward Udonis Haslem will become Miami's all-time leader, passing Alonzo Mourning with 4,808.

Musical Reference:
Psychobilly Freakout by Reverend Horton Heat

What happens when the Sun crashes into some Heat? I don't know...what happens when water gets wet? Anyway, whatever happens is sure to overwhelm the casual observer, as will this Music Video.

Prognostication:
The model I used tonight (some hard stats, some Kentucky windage) has Miami winning the game 110-92. I have LBJ with 33, Ray Allen with 17 (with at least three three-pointers), and Bosh with 24. Goran Dragic leads the Suns with 20, while Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat pitch in with 16 each in the losing effort.

Back in the real world, Miami is short their starting backcourt, and Cole is a dropoff from the "sexiest man in Alaska" Mario Chalmers. At shooting guard, Ray Allen will more than compensate for the recent play of Dwayne Wade. Look for the usual theatrics from the King (someone will throw him an alley-oop). As for the United Nations of Phoenix....regardless of the team's relative health, the Suns rank last in the NBA in team defense. Although Miami is hobbled, the NBA's most explosive offense could make things ugly for the Suns real fast.

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