Game #18: Washington Wizards (5-10) vs. Miami Heat (9-8)

After a slow start, Chris Bosh is becoming one of the more consistent players on the Heat.

The Heat is ready to put the past behind them.  November is almost over and if you had asked any of the players, coaches, writers, fans, etc. nobody would've thought that the team would be hovering around .500 at this point.  Most of us expected growing pains and for it to take some time for the team to gel but this isn't what we had in mind.  After Saturday nights loss in Dallas, the Heat held a players-only meeting which hopefully will act as a wake up call.

Once the wins start coming on a regular basis then everything will be rectified, and the upcoming week is a great opportunity to begin heading down that road.  Starting tonight against the Wizards, Miami plays 3 games in the next 4 nights.  Those three teams combined winning percentage is just .375 and they have all lost 3 of their last 4 games.

Obviously at this point a win cannot be assumed regardless of the opponent, which is why beating these teams would be a definite boost.  Getting out there and winning the games that you are ‘supposed' to win would give the Heat locker room some much needed confidence and allow them to get back to thinking that they are as good as they hoped/think/thought/should be.

Looking at tonight's game, the Washington Wizards have found wins hard to come by but they have a lot of young talent on their roster.  They are coming off of a 100-99 loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday that came inches away from being a victory.  Gilbert Arenas took a shot at the buzzer that hit the back iron and bounced off.

Arenas hasn't yet regained the form that saw him as one of the leagues premier players just a few years ago but the guy is still dangerous.  He scored a season-high 31 against the Magic, but on the season Gilbert is averaging just 17.7ppg on 39% shooting.  Obviously the talent is still there but consistency is the problem, which is a common issue for players who miss extended periods of time.

Much of the attention surrounding the Wizards this season has been on rookie John Wall, though the impressive rookie may not play tonight due to a knee injury.  He has fans in Washington extremely excited about the future, as he has already shown the ability to take over games and the poise to make big shots. He is averaging 18.0 points and 9.1 assists while shooing 42% from the field. 

GAME NOTES

  • Washington comes in losers of two straight games and is 0-7 on the road. 
  • The Wiz give up 110.1 points away from home while scoring just 93.4.
  • The Heat has lost 4 of 5, though they hold a 7-3 record at the AAA. 
  • Chris Bosh has scored at least 20 points in 6 of his last 7 games. 
  • Carlos Arroyo has been the Heat's hottest shooter of late, hitting 61% over his last 5 games.
  • Miami has won 7 of their last 8 games against the Wizards.
  • Injury wise, its Haslem (foot) and Miller (thumb) out for Miami. 
  • John Wall is questionable for the Wiz with a knee injury. 

Tipoff from the AAA is set for 7:30.

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