Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images
Wizards and Heat meet in D.C.
The Wizards will look to even the season series against the Heat on Saturday night at 7:00 P.M. The Heat come into the game on a back-to-back after last night’s loss in Milwaukee, but have still won eight of their last 11 games. This will be the Wizards’ final home game before heading out West for a four-game road trip.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 P.M. | NBC Sports Washington | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Tomas Satoransky, G – Bradley Beal, F – Troy Brown Jr., F – Bobby Portis, C – Thomas Bryant
Heat: G – Josh Richardson, G – Dion Waiters, F – Derrick Jones Jr., F – Kelly Olynyk, C – Bam Adebayo
Wizards: Dwight Howard (aggravated gluteal soreness – out), John Wall (left Achilles tendon tear – out), Trevor Ariza (left groin strain – doubtful)
Heat: Rodney McGruder (left knee soreness – doubtful), Justise Winslow (right thigh bruise – doubtful), Bam Adebayo (right hip bruise – questionable)
Brown Jr.’s opportunity
On Thursday, Troy Brown Jr. earned his first career start, scoring a career-high 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out three assists. With Trevor Ariza sidelined with a left groin strain, Brown Jr. was given the opportunity to start and play heavy minutes, something he’s been working for all season. He was especially solid in the third quarter, with nine points on 4-of-4 shooting. Brown Jr. also played a career-high 33 minutes in his first start, and he can expect to get 30-plus minutes the rest of the season. Ariza is listed as doubtful once again for Saturday’s game and is considered day-to-day for now.
Portis and Bryant playing together
Along with Brown Jr. getting his first career start on Thursday, Scott Brooks started Bobby Portis and Thomas Bryant together in the frontcourt. Rotating between the two at center since the trade, Brooks decided to see how they play together. On Thursday, Bryant had 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting and eight rebounds, while Portis scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds. In 26 minutes, the two-man lineup of Portis and Bryant had a 35.8 net rating (146.0 offensive rating, 110.2 defensive rating), the team’s top two-man lineup on the night. Portis said after the game that he liked going back to the traditional ‘4’ position, while Bryant noted it was fun to play together. After the game, Brooks said he intends to stick with the bigger lineup in the short term.
Wade’s last call in D.C.
Saturday will be Dwyane Wade’s final game in the nation’s capital, as the 13-time All-Star is set to retire at the end of this season. Wade, who will go down as one of the best shooting guards to ever play the game, will receive a lot of love when he enters the game. It will be a special moment for Bradley Beal especially, as Wade was one of his idols growing up. In his career, Wade has averaged 20.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game against the Wizards in 48 games.