Wizards Report December 4Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
In a season so far filled with challenges the Washington Wizards are not expecting any breaks. Back from a disappointing loss to the New York Knicks on the road, the Wizards return home tonight to play the Miami Heat at Verizon Center.
Here is a preview of the Wizards and Heat in today’s Wizards Report:
The Knicks are a quality veteran team that has yet to lose at home this season. The disappointment for the Wizards lies in the failure to build on their first win of the season against the Portland. To be sure a loss to the Knicks wasn’t unexpected, but the Wizards lacked the defensive intensity that has been their trademark all season. The bigger issue for the Wizards was still their offense. Only 11 assists to go with 17 turnovers tripped up any chance for the Wizards to upset the Knicks.
The Wizards enjoyed two wins over the Heat in the final week of last season. It was part of the Wizards six-game winning streak to close 2011/2012. LeBron James did not play in either game. Dwyane Wade played in the game in Miami, but not at Verizon Center. The Wizards, who did have John Wall in the lineup, had 49 assists over the two games. Going forward: While the Wizards are waiting for the return of Wall from a stress injury to his left knee, the return of Nene continues to make an impact. Even in the loss to the Knicks, the Wizards played their best basketball with Nene on the floor. After missing the first ten games of the season while recovering from plantar fasciitis, Nene has come off the bench in four games and averaged 11.5 points per-game. Beyond the numbers there is more flow to the Wizards offense when Nene plays. Not only is Nene an effective passer in the post, but he draws more attention from opposing defender and that helps create better spacing on offense.
Jordan Crawford is averaging 18.3 points per-game over the last three games. In those three games, including a win over Portland, there were no wild scoring swings for Crawford. In fact Crawford was amazingly consistent with 17 points against New York, 18 points against Portland, and 19 points against the Spurs. Crawford’s shooting percentage was also on even keel as he went 23 of 47 from the field. In all three games Crawford came off the bench. Crawford played some at the point in New York and added four assists.
The big three for the Heat are still coming up big. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are three of the four Heat players who average in double-digit scoring. The fourth Heat player to average in double figures is new addition Ray Allen. While the Heat on average score 104 points per-game, they also on average give up close to 100 points per-game. It will not be easy to try and get points in transition on the Heat. With only 13.9 turnovers per-game, the Heat is ranked fifth in the NBA in taking care of the ball.
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 responded with an impressive 105-101 win over the Miami Heat. Here is today’s Wizards Report: