Game Preview: Wizards vs. Heat 11/3/13
By: Jeremy Hyman
The Heat won the season series, 3-1.
Defensive Principles - Last season, the Wizards ranked as a top 10 defensive team, but through the first two games they have gotten away from many of their defensive principles that allowed them to be so good a year ago. Tonight, they will be put to the ultimate test as they get the defending champs, who have one of the most explosive offenses in the league. The Wizards will need to play at their best and it will begin on the defensive end if they look to knock off the Heat in their own building.
Getting Beal Going - Bradley Beal had an impressive preseason, finishing second in the NBA in scoring at 20.7 ppg, but has struggled shooting the ball through the first two games of the regular season (28%). Beal is too good of a shooter and a scorer for this to continue, so look for him to snap out of his slump with a big game tonight vs. the Heat.
Wizards - John Wall scored 23 points in the first half on Friday night, including making his first seven shots of the game . He was hampered by back spasms in the second half and will be a gametime decision tonight, but if Wall can go look for him to kick start the Wizards offense once again.
Heat - LeBron James doesn't go through many stretches of the season when he's not hot, but he is coming off a game against the Nets where he finished with 26p, 7r, and 6a on 11/19 shooting. There is no way to truly shut down James, but the Wizards will try and make things as difficult as possible for the reigning MVP.
Three Point Shooting - One of Miami's biggest strengths is their ability to space the floor, penetrate and dish to open three-point shooters. The Wizards have built a roster with many three-point shooters as well and also have the ability to space the floor and use John Wall to drive and kick to open shooters. The team that can make more of their perimeter shots will be one of the keys to tonight's game.
The action kicks off at 6:00pm tonight in Miami.
Bradley Beal lit up the preseason but has yet to find his groove through the first two games of the regular season. If the Wizards want to upset the Heat tonight, they'll likely need a stellar performance from the 20 year old shooting guard, who has the capability to put points up in a hurry.
Despite battling various injuries over the past few years, Dwyane Wade continues to be one of the elite scorers in the NBA. He scored 21 points in 38 minutes on Friday night vs. Brooklyn and the Wade vs. Beal battle could be the key of tonight's game in Miami. 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.
Bradley Beal soars to the rim for the two-handed slam.