home 2014-15, Blogs, Game Coverage Wizards vs. Heat Game Preview: Get Gortat going; get DWade slowing

Wizards vs. Heat Game Preview: Get Gortat going; get DWade slowing

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Miami at Washington

December 1, 2014 at 7:00PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSNWashington
Radio: 99.1FM


Tale of the Tape

[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]HEAT[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]10-5[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]TEAM RECORD[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]9-7[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]97.6[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PPG (own)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]96.3[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]96.7[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PPG (opp)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]96.4[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Won 1[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]W/L STREAK[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Lost 1[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Won vs. New Orleans 83-80[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PREVIOUS GAME[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Won at New York 86-79[/ezcol_1third_end]


Projected Starting Lineups

[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]HEAT[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]John Wall[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]POINT GUARD[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Norris Cole[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Bradley Beal[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]SHOOTING GUARD[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Dwyane Wade[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Paul Pierce[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]SMALL FORWARD[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Luol Deng[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Kris Humphries[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]POWER FORWARD[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Shawn Williams[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Marcin Gortat[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]CENTER[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Chris Bosh[/ezcol_1third_end]


Last time they met was..

October 29, 2014 @ American Airlines Arena. The Wizards lost 107-95.
The 4th quarter pillage perpetrated by the Miami Heat was also cause for the Wizards grievously losing Rasual Butler after this soul-snatching posterization, courtesy of James Ennis.

For about 43 minutes, the Wizards had done a fair job sharing control of this game. Their interior anchor in Nene was missing in action due to a suspension but his loss was sugarcoated circumstantially well with Drew Gooden as his replacement. DGIII finished with 18 points to match Gortat’s point total while Paul Pierce, John Wall and Otto Porter also finished in double figures. But it was the last 5 minutes of this game where 12 points from Dwyane Wade erased all of those great efforts. Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 19 in that 4th quarter as the Heat slammed the Wizards with a 35 point barrage to put them away.


The Spotlight: Gortat vs. Bosh

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A game like the one Marcin Gortat had against the Pelicans on Saturday night has only happened six times since he’s worn a Wizards uniform. What kind of game is that, you ask? A game in which he shoots the ball more than 15 times and dominates. To me, this type of performance is very much a testament to how important it is for Gortat to get off to quick and defining starts. Here’s why: Gortat scored 10 points and grabbed 5 boards in the 1st quarter. He was simply feeling it. He was patient with his shots, refraining from rushing balls at the rim. By halftime, Gortat was 6-8 from the field and that paved the way for a continuation of domination in the 3rd where he added 10 more points on 5-7 shooting.

Two things happened against New Orleans: a) the Wizards offense set up Gortat with plays that best fit his niche and b) Gortat executed those plays wonderfully. His screen and roll game was fluid. His bunnies were dropping. The hook was nice. The 10 footers were sinking. He was a monster on the glass (13 rebounds). He was a denier at the rim (4 blocks).

Gortat earned every penny of his game check (a fraction of the $60 million owed to him over the next 60 months) against the Pelicans and as history has shown, when he gets in a groove good enough to take 15 or more shots, it’s usually a good thing. Here are the numbers, because they don’t lie:

Gortat’s numbers when taking 15+ shots (including playoffs):

vs. Denver 12/9/13: 8-17, 16 points, 8 rebounds
vs. Toronto 2/27/14: 12-23, 31 points, 12 rebounds
vs. Indiana 3/28/14: 8-15, 17 points, 12 rebounds
vs. Charlotte 3/9/14: 13-18, 27 points, 14 rebounds
vs. Chicago (playoffs) 4/27/14: 6-18, 17 points, 6 rebounds
vs. Indiana (playoffs) 5/7/14: 10-15, 21 points, 11 rebounds
vs. Indiana (playoffs) 5/13/14: 13-15, 31 points, 16 rebounds
vs. New Orleans 11/29/14: 12-20, 24 points, 13 rebounds

So yeah, there are a couple sucky games in there but the moral still is that if Gortat gets grooving early, he’ll very likely continue to carry that over and provide a substantial amount of production throughout the rest of the game.

As for tonight’s adversary, Chris Bosh, he commonly takes more than 15 shots a game and that’s because he is their primary source of point accumulation. Bosh has been all that the Heat expected him to be after the departure of LeBron, putting up solid averages of 21.6 points per game and 8.8 boards which has helped him garner a PER of 22.4. The Heat continue to spread the floor and scatter their players around the perimeter with Bosh at the top of the key, where he is most successful shooting the ball. Bosh is 8/16 from downtown in that area and 9/10 from just inside the arc. With the Wizards having a tendency to get switch-happy, mismatches against Bosh could entice him into pump fakes and nimbly gliding to the rim – something that, for a guy his size, he’s very good at doing.


Who’s Out?

Nene (foot) and Garrett Temple (foot) are both listed as questionable.

Chris Andersen is out for the Heat.


Things to focus on

  • Fast break points.

It’s very atypical of the Wizards to be struggling so much with their transition game but common basketball logic is clear when it tells you it all starts with defense and rebounding. Against the Cavs (2 fast break points), the Wizards forced only 9 turnovers and grabbed only 26 rebounds. Against the Hawks (0 fast break points), the Wizards forced just 10 turnovers but did manage to have a good game rebounding. You also have to credit the Hawks, who were pretty staunch in their transition defense and contrarily created a ton of turnovers for the Wizards.

  • Dwyane Wade

The “Flash” has been a flat out beast this season when his hammy isn’t nagging him. Before his 7-game absence, Wade was averaging just around 20 points and 6 rebounds a game in the first 8 games. In his first game back after the 7-game absence, Wade gave the Knicks the business with 27-5-5 on 11-18 shooting. Against the Wizards in the season-opener, Wade was slitting throats on the court in a one-man, final 5-minute massacre, scoring 12 points to put the game away. What’s scary about Wade is his deceptiveness dealing with his common bodily impairments. That’s because he plays through them so damn well. He’s prone to go off at any given moment of the game and should that happen, the key for the Wizards is simply counter it with better offense if they can’t stop him. But if only that task was as easy as blogging about it.

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