Summer League games aren't really played for the final score, so it's tough to know what the Wizards' coaching staff will take away from a 85-83 victory/loss to the Miami Heat that was ultimately a tale of two games.
The first-quarter Wizards looked like world beaters, riding Glen Rice Jr. and Otto Porter to a 28-6 lead. The second-, third- and fourth-quarter Wizards fumbled much of that lead away with sloppy turnovers and ongoing frustration that included a Rice technical foul, a dispute between Sam Cassell and Deonte Burton after a turnover and some shaky play awareness from Porter.
But they're 3-0, which means they'll surely get a bye in the Summer League tournament despite losing a bunch of quarters. If that holds, their next game will be Thursday.
Rice was phenomenal early in the game, proving to be far too strong for any defender in his path. He has such beautiful balance and upper-body strength that he can push through defenders at this level, but he was also generally playing good defense and making the right passing reads.
Things started to go south in the third quarter, though, when a couple of his drives that were once free-throw opportunities turned into charges. He slammed the ball in frustration after one of those two fouls, which was a technical. After the second one, Coach Al Harrington had to cajole him to move on to the next play. He never really got himself back into it, and Cassell admonished him again midway through the fourth quarter for falling asleep on a backdoor cut.
Porter too was strong early, hitting a couple mid-range shots and draining a couple corner threes. Wizards coaches did get a bit annoyed by his passivity on one pick and roll and his inattentiveness to not coming to the ball on one Heat trap, but otherwise seemed happy with the way he played ... at least until he nearly blew the game by throwing away an inbounds pass up two with five seconds left. Yiiiiikes.
The rest of the team was too often very sloppy. Cassell got on both Maalik Waayns and Burton for their issues. Khem Birch was once again active, but the other fringe guys didn't do a ton. That's OK. That's why they're fringe guys. The players that mattered once again generally played well, save for some of Rice's struggles later in the game.