I feel as if this section is really going to help 90% of the WE readers, because if you were brave enough to watch this matchup, then….well…kudos to you, I guess. A.J. Price mentioned before the game that the Wizards tend to play down to their opponents’ level, and it turns out he’s quite the fortune teller.
The Lebron-less, Wade-less, Bosh-less, Haslem-less Heat took on the Beal-less (and Webster-less after the third quarter) Wizards in a matchup that had the Vesely/Lewis matchup being one of the most fun ones to watch. It was another night where Washington had to fight off the three-ball as Miami ended up sinking 17 on the night.
The Wizards found themselves having a lackluster night on the offensive side in the second half, which ultimately led to their demise in a game that should have easily been theirs for the taking.
Surprisingly, the MVP does not go to John Wall tonight. It, instead, goes to A.J. Price for his brilliant 4th quarter effort regardless of the poor outcome of the game. The first Wizards field goal of the quarter was not until over five minutes in, but thanks to A.J. Price and his 23 points, the Wizards were able to hang in there until the Heat finally put the dagger in it in the final minutes. A.J. further proved that if, over the summer, the organization has to choose between him and Temple, it’s going to be a tough one. But for now, congrats on breaking John’s MVP streak, A.J.
Mario Chalmers: Although Chalmers drew the short straw tonight in regards to starters actually playing, that didn’t mean the fans got to see much out of him. He didn’t really start to get cooking until the 4th quarter, and even with his 13 points and eight assists, he wasn’t much of a factor in tonight’s game.
John Wall: John Wall wasn’t full-on John Wall tonight, but he was still all razzle and dazzle for short spurts. Wall ended up with 17 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds on the night. Until Price and Nene stepped up their games in the 4th quarter, he was essentially the only offensive production the Wizards had except for Martell Webster, who went out with an abdominal strain in the 3rd. He, of course, had some moves for the SportsCenter Top 10 , scoring a layup while in mid-fall and a reverse dunk on a fastbreak. It wasn’t all good though because his play wasn’t consistent all night, shooting just 7-for-18 from the field.
Garrett Temple. While not producing too much on the stat sheet, going for eight points, two assists and three rebounds, Temple showed a true passion on the floor tonight. He was all over the floor on both ends of the court. He was looking to make the play or find the man who could. His positioning was excellent as he was able to force some turnovers as well as provide somewhat of a spark on the floor. If you didn’t watch the entire game, you may be completely confused by my selection, but he has been consistently proving his effort level and consistency over the past few games for the Wizards.
It was during the 4th quarter when I started to wonder who was going to be the recipient of “The Bad” tonight. It could have been the performance of the entire Wizards squad; it could have been Cartier Martin’s poor shot selection, but then one Jan Vesely made the answer oh-so-clear.
It was with about ten minutes to go in the 4th when Garrett Temple threw the ball into the post to an open Vesely, who was not paying attention. Instead of catching it, he let it hit him in the face, thus allowing his face to commit the turnover for a Miami basket.
“Eh. Maybe,” I thought to myself. But then, no more than three minutes later, Vesely found himself lost on a fastbreak trying to block a shot from ten feet behind, nearly causing a goaltend. Obviously, there were plenty of other instances, but it’s just to the point that I’m not even mad anymore. The guy just has to get some experience in the D-League before coming back to the NBA. I’ve never seen someone look so confused on the court in my life. So, sorry Jan, I tried, but you earned this one tonight.
The Miami Heat organization sitting Wade, Bosh, James and Haslem. While Wittman said he didn’t have any qualms with Spoelstra’s decision and somewhat defended it by saying he understood it, a lot of fans purchased their tickets for tonight during the Heat’s near-record-setting streak off of various websites for hundreds more than face value. There was one gentleman in the crowd with a shirt that read “I paid $1200 to see Lebron sit”. At the very least, the organization has got to get them on the court for at least a few minutes in the 1st quarter, much like coaches would in an All-Star game, so that the visiting fans could at least get the chance to see the team that they paid for and is headed into the playoffs as the favorite to win it all again.