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Wizards vs. Heat preview: Washington seeks third-straight win as they head down to Miami

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NBA: Washington Wizards at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Monday, December 12th at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic, NBA TV
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App

Injury Report

Wizards: Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee), Danuel House (Out, Wrist)
Heat: Dion Waiters (Out, Groin), Justise Winslow (Out, Wrist), Chris Bosh (Out, Blood Clot) James Johnson (Questionable, Shoulder), Luke Babbitt (Questionable, Hip), Josh Richardson (Day-To-Day)

What to Watch for

Can the Wizards take advantage of a good opportunity?

The Heat are banged up, they’ve lost five straight, just finished a three game road trip, and they have a worse record than the Wizards. We’re not trying to say this is a game the Wizards should win, but it’s one that a good team usually wins.

Washington has started to turn it around lately. They’ve won three of their last four and they’re finally starting to get some production from their bench. A win in Miami might not be a statement win, but it’s a lot better than dropping another winnable game.

Is the game the Wizards finally figure out how to slow down the Dragic-Whiteside tandem?

Hassan Whiteside is 3-0 against the Wizards when he plays at least 25 minutes. He has the perfect set of skills to make Washington miserable. He’s great at cutting off penetration to the rim, he can recover quickly when Wall tries to zip passes to Marcin Gortat in the pick-and-roll. Offensively, he creates extra opportunities for the Heat on the offensive glass, and he combines with Goran Dragic to create a pick-and-roll combo the Wizards just haven’t been able to stop. Unless the Wizards can figure out a way to limit Whiteside and Dragic’s impact, it might not matter how many other players are sidelined for Miami.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Derrick Williams

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Williams has struggled to adjust to his new role in Miami, but he has started to put it together over the last week. He had 17 points against Cleveland on Friday, and followed it up with 10 points and 8 boards in 25 minutes against Chicago. Prior to that, one of his few good performances of the season came against Washington back in November. He had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and made 2 three-pointers in just 16 minutes against the Wizards. If he can get his outside shot falling, it will give Dragic and Whiteside more space for their pick-and-roll to work.