Tonight the Washington Wizards went up against another struggling team on the road – the Detroit Pistons. And eerily similar to many of their previous road games they looked as if they were disinterested, in a malaise or completely disoriented.
And I can already imagine the explanation:
"We knew there would be growing pains in the rebuild." "We have young guys" RT @980nba: i'm excited to see how teds take excuses this one.
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).)
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.
The Heat – Wizards game, minus Gilbert Arenas, ended up being much more competitive than the Heat – in the quiet recesses of their minds – likely thought it would. Hell, in their previous game (with him) they were down by 23 to the Nets… yes, those Nets. So surely they would struggle even further without him.
Well, the Wizards played like a different team and led for many stretches of the game. Early in the third quarter, the Heat were able to reclaim the lead for a bit, in part behind a couple of LeBron James threes. But the Wizards kept playing hard.
By the looks of this video, Wizards forward Josh Howard appears to be moving very well. Now that we have entered the month of December, how far away are we from seeing Josh Howard suit up? Currently Nick Young is banged up, Al Thornton is still trying to fully recover from his injury and a position that was once a strength has become extremely thin.