Tag Archives: miami
Miami Heat @ Washington Wizards
PG: John Wall vs Bad Backup
SG: Jordan Crawford vs Bad Backup
SF: Chris Singleton vs Dexter Pittman
PF: Jan Vesely vs Bad Backup
C: Kevin Seraphin vs Bad Backup
Why to watch: The Washington Wizards are the hottest team in the NBA
Alright, so that may be a bit of an overstatement, but Washington is cleaning up late in the game and building some serious momentum heading into the offseason. Yes, this five game win streak has come at the end of a miserable season and against teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Cavaliers and the Miami Heat (with Dexter Pittman starting), but who cares? Wins are wins and when things haven’t been so great all season, or when something like a 4 game win streak hasn’t happened in 4 1/2 years, this is exciting.
Segue into the Miami Heat, who we’ll be facing for the second time in three games. They’re going to be without the Big Three of LeBum, Wade, and Bosh, so it means another dose of Pittman and Co. Basketball wise, Miami’s backups are an awful rebounding team who are also completely inept on the offensive end. The Wizards should have no problem holding this team to under 100 points, and when that happens Washington has a chance to continue a win streak to 6 games! Eric Spoelstra can still coax his team into a very stingy defensive effort, so the Wizards are still going to need to get to the line or shoot well; that being said, this is a game that John Wall should win.
Underlying storyline: Kevin Seraphin’s got a streak of his own.
As the Notorious B.I.G. once said, “If ya don’t know, now ya know, ninja.” That’s the case with Seraphin, because if you haven’t heard of him by now, you’re not watching basketball. He’s the guy who stepped up once JaVale left and has recorded 10 or more points in 15 straight games. It’s been over 20 years since a Wizards center has done anything close to that, and its a welcoming experience. There is one glaring issue with his game, though, and it’s the rebounding aspect. During that same 15 games stretch of great offensive play, Seraphin has only managed to grab 10 boards in 3 games. He’s not huge, so it’s not entirely unexpected that he can’t grab them as well, but it needs to be something he should start improving on now. We know he can score, now Wizards fans need to be sure he’s a competent rebounding player.
Prediction: 99-95 Wizards
Miami is loaded with scrubs from the top to bottom without the Big Three, and I’m not sure many of their players tonight would even start for Washington. Wall should get to the line a lot, Seraphin and Nene should have dominant performances against a weak front line, and Vesely might chip in a little as well. The end of the year is where the bad teams excel, baby! Wizards win, but they don’t win you guys a Papa John’s Pizza.
Washington Wizards vs Miami Heat
Miami, Florida – 7:30 PM
PG: John Wall vs. Mario Chalmers
SG: Jordan Crawford vs. Dwyane Wade/Mike Miller
SF: Chris Singleton vs. LeBron James
PF: Jan Vesely vs. Chris Bosh
C: Kevin Seraphin vs. Joel Anthony
Why you should watch: LeBron James vs. the field
Gone are the days when LeBron against the Wizards was a bitterly contested matchup, dare I say an intense rivalry. LeBron was the young buck coming onto the scene attempting to overtake the Wizards led by Gilbert Arenas and Co. Who can forget the 2006 playoffs, where Gilbert went for 36 points, and LeBron almost equaled it with 32 of his own. Now, all those players are gone from their respective teams and any lingering resentment is felt only by the fans who can remember such a time. I am one of those fans, and when LeBron plays the Wizards, I hope him the absolute worst. I hope he lays a dud during this game and makes voters reconsider his almost assured MVP trophy.
For his career, LeBron beats up on everyone, and the Wizards are no different (26.3 PPG, 7 rebounds, 6.3 assists). He’s going to go off on us, and especially Chris Singleton who has the unenviable task of guarding him. Singleton has been sub par as a defender this year, and he’s going against someone who could become the best small forward ever someday (kiss the rings). LeBron has become much less of a jump shooter this year and has begun playing down low like a traditional power forward, while Bosh moves over to the stretch center position. It’s a technique that the Heat have used with a ton of success this year, and they’re likely to try it tonight. Bosh is going to make Seraphin/Vesely work on the defensive end, as he’s pretty nimble himself. But the key here will be containing LeBron; if your team can’t do that, they’re not going to win.
Underlying Story Line: The Wizards have the chance to go on a 3 game winning streak!
…but wait, there’s more! The Wizards have the chance to go on a 3-game winning streak AND become winners in five of their last seven games. I know, I know. I must be fudging the numbers, right? Wrong! Washington has been on a winning train lately, and has managed to derail Milwaukee’s playoff hopes, hurt Chicago’s chances of locking up the top seed, and now? Well, they face a Miami Heat team who’s 1 1/2 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference. With a Wizards win, Miami would need Chicago to lose twice in their final four games (with Miami winning out). Who says that games aren’t meaningful for teams like the Wizards in April. You’d better believe that Miami is going to get up for this game, because they want home court advantage. And with Dwyane Wade likely to sit out (he’s too good to play against bad teams this year), anything is possiiiiiibbbbbbbllllllleeeeeeee.
LeBron James isn’t going to lose against the Wizards, who have lost 6 straight against the Miami Heat. I just can’t see the Wizards putting together what’s required to beat Miami this time around. Next year? Maybe. But this year it’s going to be a close game through three quarters, until Miami pulls away big time.
Miami – 100
Washington – 85