By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards return to the floor tonight as they head to Miami to take on the defending champion Miami Heat (6:00 pm | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM). The season series is tied at 1-1, with both teams winning on their home floor.
This will be the first of a tough back to back stretch for the Wizards as they take on last year's NBA Finals representatives on back to back days. They get Miami tonight in Miami and then return home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night at Verizon Center.
The Wizards lost a heartbreaker to the Brooklyn Nets in double overtime on Friday night and will look to revitalize their spirits with an upset win in Miami tonight. They have beaten the Heat in three of the past four meetings, although they did suffer a 102-72 loss here in Miami the last time these two teams met on December 15th.
In the Wizards 105-101 victory over the Heat on December 4th, they were able to get up and down the court and score in transition. They will need to do more of that tonight if they want to take down the Heat on their home floor.
Defensively, they will have to force the Heat into tough shots and try and limit their three-point shooters from getting open looks. The Heat are at their best when then James and Wade are both scoring and setting up their teammates, so if the Wizards can stop one of those aspects they'll have a better chance to limit the Heat attack.
Trevor Ariza is getting close to returning from his calf injury and there is a chance he could play tonight.
The action kicks off at 6pm.
Rookie Bradley Beal has turned up his game over the past few weeks, earning Rookie of the Month in December where he averaged 13.1 points per game in December. Beal is averaging 17.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his last five games.
Dwyane Wade continues to be one of the league's best players who can score in a variety of ways. He is at his best when he gets into the lane and scores near the rim, which means Beal will need to put up a strong defensive effort to keep Wade from being able to slash.
In the below clip, Bradley Beal talks about winning the Rookie of the Month award for December.
In this clip, see some of the top highlights from December of Bradley Beal.