Wizards Report January 6Posted on January 05, 2013
By Dave Johnson
It’s not unreasonable to expect at least one win out of five overtime games. In a season that has largely defied reason, the Washington Wizards are now 0-5 after Friday’s 115-113 double-overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets at Verizon Center.
The Wizards’ grueling stretch of five games in seven days comes to end with Sunday’s game in Miami against the Heat and then a home game Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. That’s a powerful one-two schedule punch and the Wizards will need to continue their strong defense to be competitive against two of the NBA’s elite teams.
Coverage of the Wizards and Heat begins at 5:45 on the Washington Wizards Radio Network.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
To be sure the loss to the Nets was disappointing, but it was a highly entertaining game. It was Bradley Beal’s first game since being named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December and he showed promise for January by scoring a career high 24 points.
Extended Review of Nets Game:
Getting back to defense the Wizards had 13 steals on Friday night against the Nets and scored 22 points off 21 Nets’ turnovers. On the season the Wizards are ranked 8th in the NBA in opponent’s field goal percentage at .439.
The Wizards shot 47 percent from the field against the Nets. Through three quarters the Wizards shot 54 percent from the field. The Wizards have yet to shoot above 50 percent from the field in a game this season. In addition the Wizards had 27 assists on 43 made field goals. Garrett Temple had one of his best games with the Wizards---8 points, 11assists, 7 rebounds, and only one turnover.
The Miami Heat:
The Heat has lost three of its five games and is coming off a loss Friday night at home to Chicago. In the three losses The Heat has been out rebounded 137-108.
The Story So Far:
December 15 @ Miami:
In a previous win over the Miami Heat at home, the Washington Wizards were close to perfect in so many ways. In the return meeting Saturday on the road, the Wizards did not come close to matching their previous effort against the Heat in 102-72 loss.
Back on December 4rth at Verizon Center, the Wizards shot 48 percent from the field, had 31 assists and only 12 turnovers in a 105-101 win. Last night the Wizards only shot 37 percent from the field, only had 10 assists, and had 21 turnovers that led to 30 Heat points. The Wizards 72 points were also a season-low.
It was clear from the opening tip that Miami, with only two wins in its previous five games, was eager to avenge its previous loss to the Wizards. Off the opening tip LeBron James attacked the baseline and converted a layup to give the Heat their first score only seven seconds into the game.
Dwyane Wade then scored five critical points in a 19-5 run by the Heat to build a 23-7 lead. It marked the eighth time this year the Wizards were set back by a double-digit deficit in the first quarter. The Wizards only managed to shoot 6 of 21 from the field in the opening 12 minutes.
“One of those nights that nothing fell, and we just had no organization. We just got outplayed, outcoached, out effort, everything. We didn’t have any direction on the floor; I mean I didn’t know what we were running on the floor half the night. We had some guys that kept fighting but we had no direction out there tonight.”
The Wizards showed some life in the second quarter when they cut the Heat lead to six at 28-22. The Heat was able to reclaim some breathing room with a 50-36 halftime lead. To have a chance the Wizards needed to avoid what they did on Friday against the Lakers when they only scored 14 points in the third quarter.
Instead the Wizards had their lowest scoring third quarter of the season with only 10 points. The Wizards only made four field goals in the third, but had ten of their turnovers. The Heat scored 14 of their 29 points in the third quarter off those turnovers.
“We were all over the place. Our heads were spinning. We were short on the bench, but we can’t use that as an excuse. We just have to keep playing through things. We weren’t making shots or plays on both ends of the floor. That led us away from what we wanted to do.”
Bradley Beal missed his first seven shots, but ended up leading the Wizards in scoring with 19 points. Cartier Martin continued to show signs of finding his shooting stroke and had 18 points. It was an off night for Jordan Crawford, who was only 2 of 12 shooting from the field, and Nene did not play because of soreness in his left foot.
All twelve of the Heat’s active players scored with LeBron James leading the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds. James has now scored at least 20 points in each of the Heat’s 21 games this season. The streak is James longest to start a season and the longest since Allen Iverson scored at least 20 points in 21 consecutive to start Philadelphia’s 2005/2006 season.
December 4 at Verizon Center: Maybe Robert Griffin III also knows how to bring out the best in Washington Wizards. With the Redskins rookie quarterback watching in a court side seat at Verizon Center, the Wizards.
RG3 can do a lot of things, but the Wizards deserve all the credit in their surprising win over a Heat team that was one win away from its best start in franchise history. Instead the Wizards secured their third consecutive win over the Heat dating back to last season.
The quote: Wizards’ head coach Randy Wittman:
“I told the guys, the only people that really think you have a chance tonight is us here right in this room.