UPDATE 8:05 p.m. ET: LeBron James will be in the starting lineup tonight in Phoenix, though Erik Spoelstra did say before the game that they’ll be monitoring his vitals very closely.
The schedule-makers didn’t do the Suns any favors, but some injury concerns from their next opponent may give them a bit of a break after all.
Phoenix played well in spurts in Los Angeles Friday night, and the team was closer than expected until an 18-point fourth quarter ultimately sealed its fate. The Suns host the defending champion Miami Heat on Saturday to complete the back-to-back set, but won’t have to face them at full strength.
Dwyane Wade has already been ruled out, as he’s still dealing with the sore foot that kept him from participating in the Heat’s win over the Nuggets on Thursday.
With Miami not scheduled to play again until four days from now, it makes sense to sit him if there’s even a hint of a lingering effect of the injury, so the team is taking the smart approach.
LeBron James skipped the team’s shootaround, and will be a game time decision due to illness.
The Heat come into Phoenix with a record of 7-3 overall, but are just 3-3 on the road to begin the season.