Despite dealing with numerous injuries, the Miami Heat enter Tuesday’s game against one of the league’s best red-hot, coming off an impressive win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Jimmy Butler has been playing well, and the team as a whole is still defending their behinds off. Speaking of defense, the Phoenix Suns bring it on that end of the floor, and have been nothing short of dominant lately, trying to stake a claim as the best team out West.
Will injuries and fatigue finally catch Miami, or will it yet again come away with a huge victory out West? We’ll tell you where to look at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Miami Heat vs. Phoenix Suns
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 – 10:00 PM ET at Talking Stick Resort Arena
That’s now six wins in seven tries for the Miami Heat, who acquired Victor Oladipo at the trade deadline to bolster their offense but subsequently lost him to a knee injury just four games in. Despite playing without Oladipo, and listing Tyler Herro as questionable heading into the game, Miami went into Portland on Sunday and stymied one of the league’s hottest offenses.
The Heat held Portland under 100 points in that game, which is no easy task. In fact, over the past seven games, only five teams can say they’ve defended better than Miami. The Heat rank sixth in defensive efficiency over that span with a rating of 106.3, and have allowed just 34.1% shooting from deep, an elite number.
Interestingly, according to Second Spectrum, the Heat are second over the last seven in pass percentage. They are sharing the ball incredibly well, and playing true team basketball. During their run, six players have scored in double figures on average, including the injured Oladipo, while just two players — Herro and Duncan Robinson — have shot over 33.3% from three. It’s been all about passing and getting high-percentage looks.
In terms of trends, one of Miami’s best spots is on the road, where they’re 13-12 against the spread. The Heat have also gone 15-12 ATS after a win.
The Phoenix Suns may very well be the best team in basketball. With the Jazz losing three of five, including one to Phoenix, I don’t think that is too far-fetched to say. Out of their last 14 games, the Suns have lost just twice — and both were on the second night of a back-to-back.
Everything is going right for the Suns except, really, their performance against the spread — which is 8-6 over that span. They won’t care about that, though, instead riding in high against the Heat.
Over the last 14 games, the Suns rank third in offensive efficiency and fifth in defensive efficiency. It’s hard to do much better than that. The three-ball has also been working in recent games; Phoenix set a franchise record in Monday’s win over the Rockets with 25 3-pointers on 45 attempts.
The second night of back-to-backs, as mentioned before, has been troublesome for Phoenix. It has gone 8-4 against the spread in this spot, but has failed to cover in its last two. As the home favorite, though — and they are on Tuesday — the Suns are 17-8 against the spread. They will hope both their prowess on no rest and at home all season long will hold up, as will their defense.
It’s hard to fade either one of these teams they way they’re going, but if I have to pick one, it’s going to be Miami. The loss of Oladipo and just a few of their players dealing with minor injuries could be enough to throw this one over the edge. In addition to that, the Rockets were aided by the Suns’ weak three point defense on Monday, shooting 40.5% from downtown. As discussed earlier, none of the Heat players aside from their two stock shooters have had much success from deep, and I think Phoenix should be able to slow that one-dimensional attack.
For my best bets, I’m going to lay the points with Phoenix here with the thought that its defense should completely overwhelm a lackluster offense.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.