The Wizards are back on the road after a disappointing home opener against the 76ers on Friday night. They'll be squaring off in Miami -- not actually South Beach, actually closer to Brickell -- against the reigning Southeast division and NBA champion Miami Heat.
I'm joking about the emotional distress both teams experienced losing to the Sixers, but isn't it weird how well they're doing? I mean, they beat the freaking Bulls last night, too. Jeez. OK, onto the game at hand.
Where and when? Tonight's an early one, folks. It's Sunday after all. 6:00 p.m. tip, but it'll feel like 7 because farmers lobbied congress to mess with our clocks back in the day, based purely on some idea Ben Franklin had (damn you again, Philadelphia!). Comcast SportsNet is your go-to channel.
What happened last time these teams played? The Wizards won in the preseason, but does that mean anything? YES IT MEANS EVERYTHING GO WIZ GO WIZ GO WIZ. Ahem, I mean, it's just preseason, so take it with a grain of salt. The Wiz had a pretty good streak of beating the Heat (or at least getting close) for a while in the last few years. That ended in the middle of last season when Miami started takin' care of business. It got... ugly. Like, ugly enough that in their last meeting of last season, Miami rested basically everyone of importance and still beat the Wizards.
Are they good? Um, yes. But they've opened the season 1-2, so it could be better. But, yeah, they're still good. If you're unaware of this, I would like to buy a timeshare under the rock you're also living under when I want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Why should I care? One: because basketball is awesome. Two: because the Wizards need a win, and how awesome would it be if their first win was against the Heat? Three: The Heat are fun to watch, despite my animosity towards them. Four: John Wall is going to play after fear that he may not.
Who's out? Nene is still day-to-day, while it looks like Michael Beasley and Greg Oden are the same for Miami. I think Dwyane Wade is back in the fold tonight, so that'll be a tough test for Bradley Beal. Chris Singleton is also out, but that's what happens when you're recovering from a broken foot.
What are they good at? Lots of things: Scoring. Passing. Defending. Fastbreaks. Having multiple NBA Finals MVPs on their roster. Being in commercials. Beating most teams.
What are they bad at? Beating the Sixers. And sometimes, they're a little small inside and don't control the paint. If the Wizards control the boards and get a lot of easy baskets and extra possessions as a result, that'll go well for them.
Can the Wizards get their first win? I hope so, but trying to get one over a Heat team that lost to the Sixers and then lost to the Nets (by 1 point!)... I think the Heat aren't taking any chances tonight and will try to throttle the Wizards from the get-go. But if the Wizards control the paint and slow down Miami's transition game, Washington's got a shot.
Want to read the Heat's perspective? Visit Hot Hot Hoops.
Who's going to win? Well, like I said two questions ago, the Heat are likely out for blood tonight. But the Wizards should be, too. I want the answer to be Washington, but I think it might be Miami. I'm not hating... I'm just terrified of what a grumpy Heat team is capable of. But boy howdy, how awesome would it be if the Wizards rained on their parade? Actually, let me answer that below.
Boy howdy, how awesome would it be if the Wizards rained on their parade? Super, super awesome.