The Washington Wizards are in the middle of a five-game home stretch that started this weekend as they lost to the Phoenix Suns, 95-80. Tomorrow they host the Miami Heat, followed by the Brooklyn Nets right smack at the Trade Deadline (James Harden or Ben Simmons will show up!), then Sacramento and finally the Detroit Pistons on Valentine’s Day.
When: Monday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
How to listen: The Team 980 AM, 106.7-2 FM.
Wizards: Bradley Beal (Out), Daniel Gafford (Out)
Heat: Max Strus, KZ Okpala (Out).
A home stretch that will decide a season, and maybe an era— The Wizards were supposed to be surging this year after a 10-3 start. Instead, they are regressing. And now, 4 games below .500, (some of) the right questions are finally being asked. Is Beal for real? Can the team do better without him (and his hefty contract) in the long run? At any rate, if the Wizards keep sliding even during this 5-game home stretch expect serious ramifications to the roster.
Playing without Beal — Without Beal, the Wizards were able to surprise the 76ers in Philadelphia. Yet, they seemed unable to get buckets against the excellent Suns. Can they give the Heat at least a run for their dollar?
Heat will look for revenge — In November the Heat visited D.C. and seemed to have the game under control as they were leading by 3 with less than 3 minutes to go. Then came a silly Beal turnover and a Heat fastbreak somehow didn’t end with a bucket. The Heat were then punished with two consecutive threes—by KCP and Dinwiddie and ultimately lost the contest. For some reason, Spoelstra refrained from taking a timeout for that whole stretch where the Heat unraveled. You can be sure this time the Heat will have the Wizards’ number.
Flashback: Wizards defeat Heat in clutch performance back in November
The Wizards hosted the Heat in November, and while they trailed 93-96 with less than 3 minutes in regulation, a triple from KCP and another from Dinwiddie gave them the lead which they then drove home to come out on top. It was one of the best games of the season. Here are the highlights: