By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards put forth a valiant effort in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Heat 29-16, but it was not quite enough as they fell to the defending champs, 103-93 in Miami. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 19 points and Marcin Gortat had 15 points and 11 boards. Full Recap
Home Cooking - The Wizards begin a five-game homestand tonight against the Miami Heat. This will be the second time the two teams meet this season and the second time the Wizards will get the Heat coming off a two-game losing streak. The Wizards have struggled protecting their home floor of late, having dropped four in a row and seven of their last eight at Verizon Center. The Wizards have beaten the Heat once at home in each of the last two seasons as the defending champs normally bring out the best in them. The Verizon Center should be rocking as they welcome Miami to town for their first visit of the year.
Long Rest, White House Visit - Despite losing their last two games, the Heat have had four days of rest to regroup and prepare for the Wizards tonight. The only distraction in between games has been their trip to the White House on Tuesday, which is a tradition for any team that wins an NBA Championship, There's a reason this team has won back-to-back titles and the Wizards will need to play at their best to pull off the upset tonight.
Wizards - Nene returned to the Wizards' starting lineup on Monday and responded by scoring a team-high 19 points on 9-14 shooting to go along with his five boards and five assists.
Heat - LeBron James doesn't go through many stretches of a season when he's not hot and has scored in double figures in 531 games, the fourth longest streak in NBA history.
8-man rotation? - The Wizards went with an 8-man rotation in Monday night's win in Chicago, using only Martell Webster, Trevor Booker, and Garrett Temple off the bench. It could have been a one time thing based on the matchup, but it will be something to keep an eye on in tonight's #WizHeat game.
The action kicks off at 7:00pm tonight at Verizon Center.
Still on a minutes limit, Bradley Beal is starting to find a mark of consistency playing about 30 minutes per game. He's averaging 15 points per game over the Wizards last four games and will be counted on to be the primetime scorer he's capable of being tonight against a star-studded Miami Heat team. Beal sometimes draws comparisons to the Heat's Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, as his game combines a mix of what these two can do so well. Tonight, he'll have to spend a lot of the game trying to slow down Wade and keep him from his spots on the floor.
Despite battling various injuries over the past few years, Dwyane Wade continues to be one of the elite scorers in the NBA. Wade is shooting a career-best 54.5% from the field this season and has become a more efficient offensive player. Look for Beal to make Wade work and chase him around on the defensive end to try and take away some of his energy on offense.
Wall to Beal