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Pregame: Wizards at Heat

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Regular Season Game 19

Washington (8-10) at Miami (12-6)

December 7, 2015 at 7:30 PM
American Airles Arena, Miami, FL
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 99.1FM


Last time they met was..

March 6, 2015 at Verizon Center, Washington: Wizards 99, Heat 97
READ: Game Notebook 62, Wizards vs. Heat: Just ‘Take the Win’?


What to watch

The demise of Ryan Hollins.

What a crazy league, eh? Here we are, not even 20 games into the season and the biggest dilemma in our depressing basketball lives is how the hell Ryan Hollins is going to survive the couple of Hassan Whiteside and Chris Bosh in Miami tonight. Unthinkable almost but here we are. Of course, our thoughts remain with Marcin Gortat and his family. I’d like to also send out a few #Prayer hashtags to Nene (calf), Drew Gooden (also his calf) and Kris Humphries (ankle). With the entire front court wiped out, Randy Wittman has been left to his experiments, and Ryan Hollins has been one of the subjects. Not only has the experiment failed to render any favorable results, it’s about to get worse.

Tonight we’ll probably need to see one the best nights of Ryan Hollins’ career, but could very likely be exposed to the absolute worst of it. Unless, of course, Randy Wittman saves him again. Hollins was pulled within the first six minutes of the game last night and was never to be seen from again. Maybe it was Steve Buckhantz’ reaction to the obliteration of Hollins by Dirk Nowitzki:

For his tenure with the Wizards (3 games), Hollins has virtually done nothing but suck the life out of the Wizards and their helpless fans. Playing just around 9 minutes per game, Hollins has incapacitated the offense to an 88.3 offensive rating when he’s on the floor. He’s been about as useful to Randy Wittman as unexpected Pintrest spam is to me. And I don’t even remember signing up for an account. Nevertheless, Ryan Hollins may have another shot to prove he’s pursuing the right career at this stage of his life when he matches up against Whiteside and Bosh. And yeah. It’s looking a bit grim.


Key matchup

The Wizards Rotations vs. the Twin Towers on Biscayne Blvd.

So unless Ryan Hollins morphs into a MonStar or DeJuan Blair finds the secret of the ooze and gets mutated, I don’t know how the Wizards will contain Whiteside and Bosh. On the season, Whiteside is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds. On the defensive end, he’s blocking almost 5 shots per game. His mentor Chris Bosh adds 17 points, 9 boards and 1 block per game. This game has all the likelihood of a Heat wave scorching the interior and perhaps the same effects out on the perimeter, especially if Dywane Wade gets hot. Or Justise Winslow. Or Goran Dragic. Gerald Green could be a #WizardsKiller again. Last night, the Wizards committed to defending the interior and Wes Matthews had a career night. Tonight, defending the interior will be an even tougher chore to handle, as will be defending the perimeter.


X-factor:

Winning the small-ball battle. While most of the Heat lineups are inclusive of Whiteside and Bosh, Erik Spoelstra’s second most used lineup is a smaller one that is evidently their spark plug. The combination of Dragic, Wade, Winslow, Deng, and Whiteside is their fastest paced lineup and their most productive on offense (114 OffRtg) and on defense (79 DefRtg). Miami employs this lineup roughly 7 minutes per game, and they could be the source of a scoring run for the Heat, or a scoring drought for the Wizards. Keep an eye out for this lineup, their production could be the difference in the game.


Fun factor:

LeBron James trolling the Heat with this hat:

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Prediction:

Ryan Hollins puts in his 2-week notice. The Wizards lose to the Miami Winners.

we are Hoop District

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