Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra has been disappointed with his team's defensive effort on the road. A matchup with the Washington Wizards gives them a chance to gain some confidence.
The Heat look to shut down the struggling Wizards for the second time in four days when the teams meet Tuesday night.
Miami (5-5) has gotten off to a respectable start, thanks partly to a defense that has allowed 94.5 points per game.
Road contests, however, have been a challenge for the Heat. Miami is 1-4 away from American Airlines Arena, allowing an average of 104.0 points.
Miami is 5-0 when holding teams under 100 points, and 0-5 when it doesn't.
"We just didn't bring any kind of disposition or competitive spirit on the defensive end," Spoelstra said following a 107-96 loss at Toronto on Sunday. "For some reason, on the road, we're confused about what we are and what our identity is."
In the Heat's previous game, though, they limited Washington (1-6) to 40.8 percent shooting in a 97-77 win on Friday night, holding the Wizards without a field goal for nine minutes in the second half.
Washington, facing the Heat for the second straight game, is averaging 84.3 points while shooting 40.3 percent over its last three contests.
"This is something that is unacceptable and something we can't tolerate at all. ... We're going over what we need to do in the morning and we get out on the court and we don't do it," Washington forward Antawn Jamison said. "Nothing is missing. Nothing is missing at all. It's guys just not getting it done."
The Wizards were outrebounded 52-33 in that contest, but the Heat had trouble on the boards in their last game. Miami had a significant height disadvantage versus Toronto, and was outrebounded 52-35.
Dwyane Wade, a strong rebounding guard, had three boards and finished with 29 points for Miami despite rolling his ankle in the second half.
The injury wasn't painful enough to knock him out of the game, and he's expected to play Tuesday. Wade had 24 points against the Wizards, but has been held under 13 in each of his last two games at Washington.
Heat forward Shawn Marion, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds versus Washington, will play without a facemask for the first time this season. Marion needed the mask to protect his nose, which he broke in a Nov. 1 loss at Charlotte.
Washington forward Antawn Jamison, meanwhile, had a team-high 15 points and 10 against the Heat. Jamison let his frustration show after the game, saying his team has "to have some pride."
Jamison is second on the Wizards with 17.7 points per game. Caron Butler, who tops Washington with 19.1 points a contest, was held to six in a matchup with his former team.
Butler, who played his first two seasons in Miami, is shooting 37.2 percent in his last three games. He was held to 10 points or less twice in that span.
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