Photo per AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Who: Washington Wizards (2-9) and Miami Heat (5-6)
What: A Hopeful Blowout for Miami
When: Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8PM EST
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Why: Because the Heat Need a Win
Injuries: Goran Dragic (questionable-knee), Dwyane Wade (again, being a father), Dion Waiters and James Johnson both out
Back on the hardwood at 8pm tonight! pic.twitter.com/fYskSXIjts
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) November 10, 2018
On the first night of their back to back, the Heat fell to the Pacers 110-102 after holding a lead with 4 minutes left to play. Without Dragic, Wade, and Derrick Jones Jr, the team still looked very good.
Whiteside finished the game off with 11 points and 20 rebounds (wow), and Josh Richardson had a nice 18 point, 6 assist night. The only problem was that the team lost the lead down the stretch, but a lead is hard to keep without your veteran leadership (Wade, Dragic) on the floor.
The Wizards, surprisingly, have been very bad. Their only wins come against Portland in overtime, and the Knicks last week. They fell to the Magic in Orlando last night, and sit at the bottom of the Southeast Division (currently led by the 6-6 Charlotte Hornets).
This is the second time the teams have seen each other this season, the first result being a 113-112 Miami win on opening night. Last year’s season series stood even at 2-2, but this is a very different, very bad Wizards team. The addition of Dwight Howard was seen as a benefit, but Howard has seen minimal playtime due to… a butt injury… and has been off to a slow start because of it.
If Goran Dragic is out again tonight, John Wall will be a handful for Miami. Tyler Johnson would have to step up and do his part defensively, which can be done, but Wall is tough to contain. Dwyane Wade sitting out again will make Bradley Beal a tough defensive assignment, so the key for tonight’s game is to restrict the Washington back court.
The Wizards, coached by Scott Brooks, seem to be incredibly disjointed this year. A lot of isolation plays, not a lot of ball movement or communication, and the defense has been lackluster. Miami just needs to capitalize on the struggles of the Wizards, and they can bounce back from Friday night’s loss to Indiana.
Offensively, look for Whiteside and Adebayo to make a bigger impact, especially Bam. When Howard sits down, Ian Mahinmi is practically paper on defense. Whiteside and Adebayo’s offensive prowess and athleticism can lead to big nights for one or both of those guys.
Another match-up to look for is Josh Richardson and Otto Porter. Both are talented offensive players with decent defensive skill sets, so it should be a battle between them.
My final score prediction is 110-92 Miami. A blowout victory against a struggling team doesn’t seem improbable.
The Heat take on the 76ers on Monday in Miami, but newly acquired Sixer Jimmy Butler will not play for the team until Wednesday. So, Miami will take on the Sixers without Robert Covington and Dario Šarić, both of whom they traded to Minnesota in the deal.
The Wizards will take on the Orlando Magic in Washington on Monday.