After winning four of their last six games, the Washington Wizards will look to win their third straight game against the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
The last time these two divisional foes met, the Heat won decisively 106-89 on February 10 in Washington.
John Wall had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists. The only downside to Wall’s game against Miami was his seven turnovers. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade scored a combined 44 points while the Heat shot nearly 50 percent from the field … The Wizards shot a lowly 38 percent.
The shooting guard match up between Jordan Crawford and Dwyane Wade would have been intriguing, but seeing as though Wade has sat out the last four games against opponents with losing records, we’ll have to look elsewhere.
Coming out of Florida State, Chris Singleton was a prominent defender and went on to win the ACC defensive player of the year award. It should be interesting to see how Singleton will play against LeBron James. James is having one of the best years of his career averaging over 27 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. One of the glaring weaknesses in Singleton’s game is his inability to stay out of foul trouble. His tendency to over-commit to stealing the ball leads to unnecessary fouls. Chris Singleton has the upside to become an elite defender, and maybe this match-up can be a quick peek into his potentially bright future.
Nene returned to action for the Wizards against the Bucks for the first time in 10 games due to plantar fasciitis. He contributed 14 points and 2 blocks in eighteen minutes off the bench. A good game from Nene is necessary for the Wizards because of the Heat’s lack of depth in the front court.
The Miami Heat are the fourth best scoring team in the NBA, averaging 99.7 points per game. The Wizards are currently twenty-third in scoring, averaging 93.4 points per game.
Keys to Victory
The Wizards are not a very good road team, and the Heat have only lost four games at American Airlines Arena, so playing this game in Miami won’t help the Wizards chances of victory.
The Wizards are playing with nothing to lose, and coming off victories over the Bulls and the Bucks, their confidence is sky high. The majority of the confidence that is shown on this team has come from up and coming Wizard, Kevin Seraphin. Utilizing his post talents against the lackluster front court of Miami is important if the Wizards want to stay in this one.
Stopping the fast break is another key to victory. Although the Heat are only ninth in the league in fast break points, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James possess the talent to run out and leave the defense on their heels. The Wizards are currently sitting in third place in fast break points per game, averaging 17.6 fast break points per game.
I’m not a big believer in moral victories, but that just might have to do on Saturday night. There’s a slim chance the Wizards will pull this one out, but continuing their recent success is necessary in moving on to next season.