The Washington Wizards are coming off of three ugly games in a row against the Hawks, Cavaliers and Pelicans. The offense has been looking downright broken as of late without Nene in the lineup, and they'll try to change that tonight against the Miami Heat.
When and where? 7 p.m. sharp at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Injury Updates: Nene has been ruled questionable after missing today's shootaround because of plantar fasciitis. Dwyane Wade will be playing tonight after a great performance against the Knicks yesterday.
Keys to a Wizards win: The Wizards are the better team at this point of the season and far more stout defensively than when these teams first met at the start of the season.
The Miami Heat are not going to let the Wizards push them around, though. The return of Dwyane Wade is essential for this team as it has struggled to find consistency from any of their ball handlers this season.
Shabazz Napier and Norris Cole have been decent in spots this season, but neither one really scares NBA defenses, at this point, as a lead guard. Mario Chalmers has seen spot minutes as the lead guard this season, but has been the shooting guard for the Heat in most of their lineups.
Wade's skill as a ball handler and a slasher are going to make this team incredibly tough to deal with just as it did in the first matchup between the two sides. When he has played this season, he has been one of the top two or three shooting guards in the league. The Wizards cannot afford to overlook him tonight.
Chris Bosh is also going to be hard to stop. With Wade out, defenses had been able to key in on Bosh and overload their defensive schemes to him. With Wade being back, Bosh has a weight lifted off of his shoulders. When you consider that and how the Wizards have traditionally struggled with shooting big men, this could be a long night.
Defense will always be there for the Wizards, but their offensive game is what is going to determine whether or not they win. The Wizards are going to have to get out in transition and get high value shots against this Miami Heat defense that allows 107 points per 100 possessions.
Will the Wizards pull the win out? With the way the Wizards offense has looked this season, it is really hard for me to pick them against anyone. They're defending at a top-notch level, but they have not been able to put up points against some of the weaker defenses in the league.
Still, with that being said, I have them getting a win tonight. Washington wants to get the ball back out in transition again, and if they can do that they should be able to generate enough offense to win this game.