Certain loses are easier to take than others and the Wizards eight point loss to the Heat is one of those loses. When you consider the way the Wizards played in their recent games against Orlando, Indiana and Philadelphia, that they were without Andray Blatche and Al Thornton who were nursing injuries, and that they were adding three new players into the mix (Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans and Jordan Crawford) – a beat down against the Miami Heat would have been expected. However, the Wizards elected to play with a little passion. And while they ultimately lost the game, it was a competitive and entertaining game throughout.
The Heat secured the win with an good game by Bosh (15 pts & 8 reb), great game by LeBron James (25 pts, 9 reb & 7 ast) and an incredible scoring performance by Dwyane Wade (41 points). They also received a little help by the officiating crew as the Heat shot 45 free throws versus 23 by the Wizards. (In fact, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (28 FTs) attempted more foul shots that the entire Wizards team (23).)
Yes, JaVale McGee is young. Last month he turned 23 – happy belated birthday JaVale. He is also still trying to adjust to being a starting Center in the NBA. And in this particular game he was squaring off with one of the games best, the grizzled 26 year old veteran, Dwight Howard.
Playing fairly sparingly (16:59), JaVale managed 2 points on 1-5 from the field. A few of those shots were of the very low percentage variety – off-balanced and fading away from the basket. Given his shot selection, it is not a surprise that he did not manage to get to the line. He also finished with 1 rebound, 1 blocked shot and 3 personal fouls. And as his +/- indicates (-7), it was clearly not one of JaVale’s most productive games. Dwight Howard finished with a fairly pedestrian – for him – 22 points and 15 rebounds.
Good NBA teams hover around .500 on the road and the best teams have winning road records, but few teams (and none so far this season) have better records on the road versus at home. So, given this it goes without saying that the Wizards will generally get their opponents best effort – since their opponent will be at home where they play their best ball.
In this article, we explore whether the blame solely rests on the team’s defensive effort or whether there are other contributing factors.
Due to a family emergency involving his mother, Flip Saunders was unavailable for the game against the Pacers. Wizards Assistant Coach Randy Wittman led the Wizards against the struggling Indiana Pacers who, entering the contest, had lost their last two games by 12 points or more. The Pacers were also on the second night of a back-to-back and their third game in four days.
The Wizards, who are win-less on the road, play solid basketball at home. So even with the absence of Flip Saunders, this was easily a winnable game for the Wizards who have been playing better basketball since the second half of the New Jersey Nets game.