After visiting the White House for a second year in a row, the Miami Heat were supposed to be dominant. I mean, they had four days of rest and were playing a sub 500% team. So that combination usually yields success. But defense is this teams identity, it has brought them the championships and the successes they’ve obtained while predicating that DEFENSE has to be number one – always. Well last night, there was no sign or hint of that defense and the Wizards scored 43 points in the first quarter while only allowing 18 points from the defending champions and basically closing the game in the first 12 minutes of play.
There were some reports during the broadcast that the team was visibly shocked and down after one of their core guys, Joel “The Warden” Anthony was traded as part of a three team trade with the Celtics and Warriors. The trade happened earlier yesterday afternoon and sent Joel to Boston, point guard Toney Douglas to the Heat and guards Marshon Brooks and Jordan Crawford to the Warriors.The trade, while shocking, should not have deterred a team with championships aspirations to the point of allowing their opponents to dominate them from all aspects of the court.
With the move, the Heat now have the “Greg Oden” project moving forward and are geared to elevate his minutes slowly as the season progresses. Oden played 8 minutes and tallied 6 points ( 2 dunks) and 2 rebounds. It was the sweet to the bittersweet evening. The rest of the Heat were out of sync offensively and defensively. The transition offense struggled and the three-point shooting was absent completely. LeBron struggled early with 4 turnovers, but was able to get it going in the second half. He finished with 25 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists. Bosh had a great night making 3 three-pointers, totaling 26 points and added 7 rebounds and a steal.
The Wizards on the other hand were masterful. They shot 55% for the game and it felt as EVERYONE was hitting every shot from the beginning of the game. John Wall was incredible, he totaled 25 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds. His speed is something that the Heat have historically struggled to contain. The Wizards had a total of 7 players in double digits and made it look easy against the multitude of Heat’s defensive breakdown.
HEAT: Chris Bosh– 26 Pts, 7 Rebs, 2 Assists. & LeBron James – 25 Pts, 8 Rebs, 7 assists
Wizards: John Wall– 25 Pts, 9 Assists, 5 Rebounds. & Nene – 19 Points, 9 Assists, 3 Blks
Friday: Miami @ Philadelphia Tip Off 7:00 PM