The Miami Heat will travel to Washington tonight and take on the recently-struggling Wizards. As the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, this is a huge opportunity for Miami to pull closer to the No. 5 seed Wizards and the No. 6 seed Milwaukee Bucks. However, the Wizards are hungry for victories.
They snapped their six-game losing streak this past Saturday night with a 99-95 victory over the Detroit Pistons, but then jumped right back into their losing ways, falling to the Chicago Bulls by a score of 97-92 in The Windy City on Tuesday. The game summed up this rough stretch that the team has been going through as a whole, as it displayed little chemistry and team-work for a team that has so many different players and needs some continuity.
The struggles for Washington are evident and it will be far from a simple task to turn it around. However, it is very possible.
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Although it doesn’t look like it right now, the Wiz have a pretty deep and talented roster. They also posses of two quality big men in Marcin Gortat and Nene, which is very hard to find in any team. They will give Washington a distinct advantage, but they will not carry the team.
Star point guard John Wall has been playing very well throughout the entire season, but he has been going through a bit of a shooting slump. And it’s not his jump-shot that is the issue, it’s his tendency to fall in love with it that is. He is such an explosive and athletic player that there is no reason for him to ever take an outside or mid-range shot unless given the right opportunity by the defense (if he gets an open look).
The Wizards will face off against the Miami Heat at home tonight, in a game that will be very important for both clubs. The Heat currently hold the No. 7 seed in the East with a record of 27-33. They are in the bottom three of the league in every offensive statistic, but their defense is what keeps them afloat.
However, they do get offense from some players on the team. Center Hassan Whiteside has posed as a very pleasant surprise for Miami in his first legitimate NBA season, as he has averaged 11.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.
Whiteside spent the first two years of his career with the Sacramento Kings, where he participated in just 19 games total and did not start in a single competition. He has proved that when given the opportunity, anything is possible.
The Wiz are going to have to try extremely hard to protect their home court tonight and make sure that an average team like Miami does not beat them, because they have already lost enough, and this is not the way the Wizards roll.