By David Dwork

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PHOENIX (CBSMiami) – Two teams searching for their early season identity are preparing to lock horns in the Arizona desert.

The Miami Heat came into the season looking to build on their NBA-best 30-11 second half of last season, but things haven’t snapped into place just yet.

The Phoenix Suns won four of five games after making an early season coaching change, but have since dropped three straight.

The Heat will continue their six-game road trip Wednesday night when they face the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Phoenix made headlines on Tuesday, trading disgruntled guard Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks for veteran big man Greg Monroe and protected first and second round picks in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Bledsoe hadn’t played since October 21st after being sent away by the team.

Heat center Hassan Whiteside will be looking for a bounce back game after he was benched in Miami’s 97-80 loss at Golden State on Monday.

Whiteside is averaging 15.2 points and 12.4 rebounds this season but went just 1-of-9 with 3 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes in the loss.

“Coach playing me 16 minutes, I guess that’s what he wanted me to play,” Whiteside said after the game. “Last game I played 31 minutes, I thought I played great. Today, I played 16 minutes. So, I really don’t know what I’m going to play in Phoenix.”


  • Suns guard Devin Booker became the fourth-youngest player in NBA history to reach 3,000 points on Monday.
  • Miami could again be without guard Dion Waiters, who missed Monday’s game to be home for the birth of his child.
  • The Heat have won 13 of the last 14 games against Phoenix.
  • Miami guard Goran Dragic, who was acquired in a trade from the Suns, is averaging 19.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game so far this season.

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