Well, the Verizon Center certainly looks excited (sarcasm, there's nobody there).....and I'm sure to the chagrin of all, Eddie Jordan is going with the same starters (Dixon in for the injured Antonio Daniels).
Hey, the Wiz win a tip....strong move by Etan against Beasley on the opening play.
On the first play for the Heat, Chalmers easily drives on Dixon, pass and open make for Haslem. 2-2 tie.
9:48: Wade hits a baseline reverse layup as the shot clock expires. Help could have been better, but DeShawn absolutely froze on the close out as Wade, in the corner, received the cross court pass from Marion. 4-2 Heat.
Marion hits two of his patented ugly shots in a row....not sure why you'd want to patent that shot though. 8-2 Heat. (Meanwhile, Jamison has missed a hook-flip and a trey)
I'm beginning to wonder if the Wiz should just play straight up defense sometimes and stop all this doubling off the ball screen stuff (I'm also beginning to wonder if I've wondered this before).....they always get caught trapping out way too high and good passing teams easily find the open man, such as Udonis Haslem.....10-2 Miami (10 straight Heat points).
Eddie Jordan timeout and you can hear very light boos among the sparse crowd. 8:00 left. Miami is 5-7 (the 5 makes are accompanied by 5 assists), Wiz are 1-7.
6:18: Dixon drives and creates an open three for Jamison....I like 'em when they're in rhythm. 12-8 Miami.
The Heat haven't had any 2nd chances (offensive rebounds) this game.....yet, but they're not really crashing the boards either.
The Verizon is dead quiet at the sight of two crappy NBA teams missing shots in bunches. Miami calls a timeout and McGee and Young get set to check in for Etan and Dixon. Still 12-8 Heat with 4:50 left.
Insult on top of injury....Chris Miller is reporting that Eddie Jordan "revealed" today that DeShawn Stevenson has been dealing with a nerve issue in his hamstring. Antonio Daniels has also been ruled out for the Hawks game tomorrow.
3:17: The Heat have just been missing shots....but when the Wiz seem to be playing good defense, Dequan Cook hits a contested three at the shot clock buzzer. 15-10 Miami.
3:08: Jamison pretty back door pass to Caron for a dunk And 1. 15-13 Miami.
1:45: Dee Brown checks in for Stevenson.
There goes that double again. Marion slips the ball screen he was going to set for Cook. Not only do Jamison and Butler double Cook, but it's such a loose double that you could drive a truck in between them. Dee Brown takes a step off Quinn in the corner to dissuade the ball from going to the cutting Marion, but unfortunately, Quinn is too open for the direct pass from Cook. 21-15 Heat. It looks like Brown left the shooter, but what the hell were Caron and AJ doing?
That damn Chris Quinn. He hits a two in Nick Young's face to end the 1st. The Heat got a 2nd chance that time because McGee gave up on a Heat layup he thought was going down....but it didn't.
I will give Antawn Jamison an A for effort....he has 9 points and 4 boards after 1, but the Wiz shoot under 30% (6-22) as a team while the Heat shoot 50% (10-20....9 assists). 23-17 Miami Heat.
Young, Butler, McGee, Brown and Blatche start the 2nd.
The Andray Blatche Report: Wiz get a steal, Brown pushes the ball quickly up the court. The Wiz have five men running to Miami's two (with Quinn catching up), but have poor spacing...Brown ends up passing the ball back to Blatche who musters a miss from the FT line. Nick Young gets an offensive board, misses a fading turnaround on Cook with 18 seconds on the clock. Loose ball rebound. Andray looks like he has a beat on the ball, but he gets out-hustled by Quinn and Beasley who simply want it more.
Blatche is also making lazy cuts and carelessly swatting at the ball after the Heat have secured the board....he makes up with a drive and short J off the glass. 26-21 Miami.
McGee misses an oop trying to throw down a reverse....the reverse part didn't really look necessary.
8:40: Dom McGuire checks in for Butler....looks like everyone is playing tonight.
7:10: Blatche makes a strong drive....but for some reason throws up a running double-clutch one-hander...Miss...but to his credit, he works to get his own rebound, put-back, and foul...but misses the FT. 29-25 Heat.
Good News: Nick Young has picked it up after a mediocre game in Miami, and a slightly cold start tonight. He has 6 quick points.
Jamison and Dixon have checked in to join Young, Blatche and McGuire.
4:45: Caron Butler replaces the Taser.
Has anyone ever wondered why Joel Anthony pronounces his first name Joelle? It's a Canadian thing, I guess I wouldn't understand.
3:37: Nick Young gets D-Wade on skates.....splash, and it's a tie game at 33. The Wizards have gotten scrappier on D, forcing the ball out of Wade's hands more.
McGee back in for Blatche....with AJ, Dixon, Butler and Young. So should this be our starting lineup? JaVale has been quiet tonight....but at this point, I'd be fine with that. Yea, I know...change of heart on my part.
This Wizards unit is even moving the ball better. I spoke with my dad the other night, he said, "I see Nick Young is scoring a lot.....is that just because he is being a gunner?" I actually came to Young's defense, citing that he's passing the ball better, taking better shots, and has improved on defense, especially when it comes to contesting shots. Yes, me defending the Bean Burrito....didn't think I'd be doing that four months ago.
This just in: Dwyane Wade is still a bad dude. 7 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists.
Unfortunately, the Wizards give the Heat THREE second chances on their final possession of the first half. It ends with Dwyane Wade tipping in his own miss. Bad dude. 43-41 Miami Heat after 24:00.
Wiz shot 52% in the 2nd quarter....39% for the game. Miami is still up on rebounds, 25-20, but the Wiz have gotten to the FT line 11 times, making 8, while the Heat are only 2-4. Washington is also winning points in the paint 20-12. Hard to believe the Wizards have only taken two 3-pointers, making one.
Jamison - 13, Young - 10, Butler - 9
Marion - 10, Wade - 9, Quinn - 8
Darius Songaila does not make an appearance.
Wade and Beasley lead the Heat to 8 straight points and the Wizards can't do anything on offense. Caron Butler is very bothered by Shawn Marion. Eddie Jordan takes a timeout.
51-41 Miami. Ok Fine! Start Nick Young. Sure you lose his scoring off the bench, but the coach should be able to come up with some creative rotations to combat that. If anything, Young's presence will help the others with their slow starts to games (one would hope).
Eddie Jordan doesn't wait too long....but it's not Nick Young. He gets JaVale McGee back in the game with 9:31 left in the 3rd.
Same ol', same ol'....Stevenson misses a gunning three. Wade comes down and misses a quick transition pull-up, but Marion gets an offensive board and Beasley nails a jumper. 12-0 Heat run to start the 3rd...they're up 55-41.
I do not care about DeShawn Stevenson's consecutive games started streak, so please stop talking about it.
McGee gets on board with a nice move....and a throws down a lob from Butler on the return trip....And 1. 3-point play completed.....57-48 Heat.
Another oop to McGee.....he did a great job of pivoting in the post. Glorious. (But Chalmers comes back and hits a trey - Lil' Juan gave him too much space) 62-52 Miami.
5:40: Praise the lord....Nick Young is back in the game (for Dixon) -- joins McGee, Jamison, Stevenson, and Butler.
Caron Butler stumbling, bumbling, spinning, shooting, scoring, making, And 1 -- funny stuff, he used his arm to clear two different Heat players out on that play, but no call.....oh well. No doubt that guy is driving to the hoop a lot more this year....how many threes has he taken on the season? (only 12 going into tonight).
65-57 Miami - 4:47 left in the 3rd......aaaaand Chalmers continues to be hot with a trey. Mario has 10 points, all in the 3rd....back to a 10 point Miami lead.
The Wizards keep leaving Haslem open like he can't shoot.
3:05: Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Darius Songaila....he gives McGee a rest.
Just when you think the Wizards are really going to cut into the lead....Nick Young loses the ball, looks for a call, and Chris Quinn comes down and nails a jumper.....and the 2nd chances for the Heat are starting to mount.
D-Song is a helluva passer.....give him credit for that....to Butler for a dunk. 73-67 Heat.
The 3rd eventually ends and the score remains the same....time to lay it all on the line.
10:20: Nick Young picks up a stupid 4th personal foul reaching on Marion in transition.
9:52: Blatche gives Jamison and his 18 and 10 a rest...joins Songaila, Dixon, Young and Butler. 78-72 Heat.
Dequan Cook and Mario Chalmers are killing.....meanwhile, Nick Young has gone cold in the 2nd half - He had three turnovers and a miss in the 3rd and has missed two shots so far in the 4th.
8:14: The Wizards can't get over the hump. The Heat are up 83-72 and I'm not feeling good about this one....Cook on Butler, make that 85-72.
7:43: Jamison and McGee back in for Songaila and Butler....join Blatche, Young and Dixon....as Nick makes 2 FTs to give the Wiz 74 points.
Nick Young does not get respect from the referees, and that is starting to frustrate him.
Whoa!! Andray Blatche dives on the floor for the ball. How about that?...but he gets called for traveling as he slid on his back. I don't think they make that call in college, right? Not while Dick Vitale is still alive.
AJ hits a three, Dixon hits a runner, and the Wiz get back to within 6.....hump?
5:09: Dear lord, if you're listening....HELP! The Wiz almost lose the ball several times on offense, but don't....however, it's fitting that Blatche tires to drive out of control from the 3-point line and just barrels into some Heat.....offensive foul.
4:37: 'Dray makes up with a strong move to the basket for points...well, Dequan Cook was on him. 87-81 Heat.
Meanwhile, at some point, Butler checked back in for Nick Young (it was the 6:13 mark)....so Caron is playing 2G with Juan at the point, AJ at the 3, Blatche at the 4, and McGee at the 5.
3:47: That doesn't last long....Young back in for Blatche.
3:00: Crunch time...AJ makes two FTs after getting fouled going after a defensive board. 90-85 Heat.
2:43: Terrible turnover by Nick Young who traveled trying to make a long hesitant pass from the back court. Just like in football when a corner drops a potential interception and some jerk (usually me) says, "That's why that guy isn't a wide receiver..." Well, that's why Nick Young is not a point guard.
DeShawn comes in for Dixon.
2:04: Jamison with a HUGE board and put-back off a Butler miss with 1 second on the shot clock. 90-87 Heat.
Haslem misses a tough shot on the other end....combined with the previous time down the court where the Wiz doubled Wade and forced him into a tough baseline shot......that's some decent defense.
1:30: Jamison misses a long step-back two pointer (both feet were on the 3-point line) with 12 seconds on the shot clock....didn't really need a shot with that degree of difficulty at that point.
1:07: An almost steal that Butler looks like he could have intercepted....the ball falls into Marion's lap and he puts it in from short range. 92-87 Heat.
Caron Butler loses the ball off his own leg.
Wiz get the ball back....but Young gets caught picking up his dribble....errant pass. Dwyane Wade steal. Clear path foul. FT points. 94-87. Over.
Tinkering with the lineup. Starters. Bench players. Coaching. Hustle. Defense. Three pointers. Rebounds. None of it matters. The Washington Wizards are just not a good basketball team. I'm not giving up on anything, but I'm coming to terms with this concept and expectations for the upcoming games have been reduced to nothing.
I stayed up really late to watch this game via DVR and all I got was this lousy game blog.