Wizards Report January 6Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
It’s not unreasonable to expect at least one win out of five overtime games. In a season that has largely defied reason, the Washington Wizards are now 0-5 after Friday’s 115-113 double-overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets at Verizon Center.
The Wizards’ grueling stretch of five games in seven days comes to end with Sunday’s game in Miami against the Heat and then a home game Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. That’s a powerful one-two schedule punch and the Wizards will need to continue their strong defense to be competitive against two of the NBA’s elite teams.
Coverage of the Wizards and Heat begins at 5:45 on the Washington Wizards Radio Network.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
To be sure the loss to the Nets was disappointing, but it was a highly entertaining game. It was Bradley Beal’s first game since being named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December and he showed promise for January by scoring a career high 24 points.
Extended Review of Nets Game:
Getting back to defense the Wizards had 13 steals on Friday night against the Nets and scored 22 points off 21 Nets’ turnovers. On the season the Wizards are ranked 8th in the NBA in opponent’s field goal percentage at .439.
The Wizards shot 47 percent from the field against the Nets. Through three quarters the Wizards shot 54 percent from the field. The Wizards have yet to shoot above 50 percent from the field in a game this season. In addition the Wizards had 27 assists on 43 made field goals. Garrett Temple had one of his best games with the Wizards---8 points, 11assists, 7 rebounds, and only one turnover.
The Miami Heat:
The Heat has lost three of its five games and is coming off a loss Friday night at home to Chicago. In the three losses The Heat has been out rebounded 137-108.
The Story So Far:
December 15 @ Miami:
In a previous win over the Miami Heat at home, the Washington Wizards were close to perfect in so many ways. In the return meeting Saturday on the road, the Wizards did not come close to matching their previous effort against the Heat in 102-72 loss.
Back on December 4rth at Verizon Center, the Wizards shot 48 percent from the field, had 31 assists and only 12 turnovers in a 105-101 win. Last night the Wizards only shot 37 percent from the field, only had 10 assists, and had 21 turnovers that led to 30 Heat points. The Wizards 72 points were also a season-low.
It was clear from the opening tip that Miami, with only two wins in its previous five games, was eager to avenge its previous loss to the Wizards. Off the opening tip LeBron James attacked the baseline and converted a layup to give the Heat their first score only seven seconds into the game.
Dwyane Wade then scored five critical points in a 19-5 run by the Heat to build a 23-7 lead. It marked the eighth time this year the Wizards were set back by a double-digit deficit in the first quarter. The Wizards only managed to shoot 6 of 21 from the field in the opening 12 minutes.
“One of those nights that nothing fell, and we just had no organization. We just got outplayed, outcoached, out effort, everything. We didn’t have any direction on the floor; I mean I didn’t know what we were running on the floor half the night. We had some guys that kept fighting but we had no direction out there tonight.”
The Wizards showed some life in the second quarter when they cut the Heat lead to six at 28-22. The Heat was able to reclaim some breathing room with a 50-36 halftime lead. To have a chance the Wizards needed to avoid what they did on Friday against the Lakers when they only scored 14 points in the third quarter.
Instead the Wizards had their lowest scoring third quarter of the season with only 10 points. The Wizards only made four field goals in the third, but had ten of their turnovers. The Heat scored 14 of their 29 points in the third quarter off those turnovers.
“We were all over the place. Our heads were spinning. We were short on the bench, but we can’t use that as an excuse. We just have to keep playing through things. We weren’t making shots or plays on both ends of the floor. That led us away from what we wanted to do.”
Bradley Beal missed his first seven shots, but ended up leading the Wizards in scoring with 19 points. Cartier Martin continued to show signs of finding his shooting stroke and had 18 points. It was an off night for Jordan Crawford, who was only 2 of 12 shooting from the field, and Nene did not play because of soreness in his left foot.
All twelve of the Heat’s active players scored with LeBron James leading the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds. James has now scored at least 20 points in each of the Heat’s 21 games this season. The streak is James longest to start a season and the longest since Allen Iverson scored at least 20 points in 21 consecutive to start Philadelphia’s 2005/2006 season.
December 4 at Verizon Center: 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.
RG3 can do a lot of things, but the Wizards deserve all the credit in their surprising win over a Heat team that was one win away from its best start in franchise history. Instead the Wizards secured their third consecutive win over the Heat dating back to last season.
The quote: Wizards’ head coach Randy Wittman:
“I told the guys, the only people that really think you have a chance tonight is us here right in this room. You guys (media) don’t believe, the outside didn’t believe, and I said we need to have a statement game. What better opportunity to come and play in front of the fans that we knew were going to be here and beat this team? They took it to heart.”
The Wizards defeated the Heat twice in the final week of the 2011/2012 season, but Dwayne Wade only played in one of the games and LeBron James was kept out of both games. This time there would be no qualifying statement attached to the Wizards win. On this night the Wizards were better than the defending champions.
The Heat still received a triple-double from James with a game-high 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Wade added 24 points, while Chris Bosh delivered 20 points and 12 rebounds. Off the bench Ray Allen and Mike Miller provided long distance threats with 11 points each. In short it was an average night for the Heat.
The Wizards were above average. Last in the NBA in offense at roughly 89 points per-game going into the contest, the Wizards scored 105 points with their most efficient and disciplined offensive performance of the season. The Wizards dished out a season high 31-assists on 38 made field goals.
The Wizards lead the NBA in bench scoring and once again the Wizards reserves provided the offensive punch. Jordan Crawford topped the Wizards with 22 points and it marked the eleventh time this season a player coming off the bench either led or was tied for the team lead in scoring. Crawford has been remarkably consistent over the last four games and averaged 19 points per-game.
Kevin Seraphin finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Also off the bench Martell Webster had 13 points and helped fill a defensive void when Trevor Ariza left the game in the third quarter with a left calf strain. The Wizards bench outscored the Heat bench 64-31.
On the radio broadcast before the game Glenn Consor and I discussed the importance of the Wizards taking care of the basketball. We believed the Wizards needed to keep their turnover number to between 15 and 20 to have a chance to win. The Wizards only turned the ball over 12 times and this prevented the Heat from enjoying life in transition. The Wizards had a 16-6 advantage in fast-break points.
The Wizards used their fifth starting lineup in fifteen games against the Heat. Chris Singleton, who started 51 times last season while playing in all 66 games, received his first start of this season. As always Singleton was tenacious on defense and finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds.
We changed our starting lineup a little bit tonight because of the situation. With them starting Rashard Lewis, I didn’t want to put Kevin (Seraphin) in a position where he’s obviously not very comfortable guarding. I’m starting to find a rotation.”
Playing with the lead:
For much of this season, the Wizards have been chasing games. Against the Heat, the Wizards scored a season-high 30 points in the first quarter. In the opening twelve minutes the Wizards attacked the basket and were 10 of 14 from the free throw line, while only going 2 of 3 beyond the arc. Offensive droughts have also plagued the Wizards all season, but in the second quarter they also scored 30 points. The 60 points for the first half was the highest scoring first and second quarters of the season. For only the third time this season, the Wizards had a lead going into the fourth quarter of play.
The law of averages is not catching up with the Washington Wizards. With losses in its first four overtime games the Wizards were due for a win in extra time. Instead a night filled with dramatic plays ended in more disappointment for the Wizards in a 115-113 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in double overtime.