Washington Wizards aimed to win 50 games this season, but a loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night ended their chances of obtaining the goal.
The Washington Wizards haven’t won 50 games since 1979. And they’ll have to wait another year to end the drought.
The Miami Heat, looking to sneak into the playoffs, entered the game fully loaded. Last week, the Wizards lost to the Heat at home with a healthy lineup. Their chances of beating the Heat on the road with a depleted roster were obviously slim.
Despite a solid start and contribution from several unlikely sources, the Wizards couldn’t match up with the Heat’s length, falling 110-102.
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Miami abused Washington with their size inside, consistently scoring at will over the Wizards’ poor defense.
Hassan Whiteside, in particular, continued to steamroll through the Wizards’ bigs, scoring 24 points to go alongside 18 rebounds.
Washington, simply put, doesn’t have a big man on their roster that can match up with him physically.
For 48 minutes, the Wizards were getting into their offensive sets with hopes of getting a clean look. Miami simply took the ball and scored inside without resistance. It’s basically impossible to win when the opposition is scoring effortlessly.
With that said, the Wizards did have a few bright spots in the loss.
Gortat bounced back with 16 points on 8-9 shooting. Washington went to him early and he knocked down a couple of mid-range jump shots. Normally, the Wizards wouldn’t rely on Gortat for those sort of shots, but with the starters out, it was an opportune time for him to get back on track.
Trey Burke, who’s been out of the rotation since Brandon Jennings arrived to D.C., scored 27 points. He made 5 of his 7 threes. Burke will be entering free agency in the off-season, so Wednesday might’ve been the last time he’ll play for the Washington Wizards.
Washington will be ending the season without reaching their 50-win goal, but that doesn’t mean this season was a disappointment. The Wizards became the first team in league history to go 15 games above .500 after starting 2-8. Washington also won their first division title in almost 40 years.
The NBA Playoffs will begin on Friday, but the schedule hasn’t been released. Washington will be meeting the Atlanta Hawks at home in Game-1. Now they just have to wait and see when that game will take place.