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Game Preview, Heat vs. Wizards

Hello All, The Heat get back after it on Friday night against the Wizards in Washington, D.C. The Wizards are a team in a weird, transitory place. They have talent but are not clicking, and obviously have had to deal with the loss of their best player for the indefinite future. Many people are calling for a complete and total firesale. And yet, the team has to keep going out to play every night. Tumultuous to say the least. PROJECTED STARTERS Heat Wizards PG Alston R. Foye SG Wade M. Miller SF Richardson C. Butler PF Beasley A. Jamison C O’Neal B. Haywood The Wizards feature former All Stars or All Star Caliber players in Mike Miller, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. However, none has played near that level this season. Jamison has taken over as Alpha Dog since Arenas was suspended, but he is the type of smaller big (if that makes sense) that is a good matchup for Beasley. The Wizards greatest strength in this matchup is that they bring guys off the bench who can have big nights; Earl Boykins can heat up quickly as the backup point and both Andray Blatche and Fabricio Oberto can give quality minutes in the post. Dwyane Wade should run roughshod in this game, as the Wizards do not have anyone that can keep up with him consistently. STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN (Stats from; 1/20/10) Effective Field Goal % The Heat is 19th in the league at 49.3%; the Wizards are 24th at 48.1%. EDGE: Heat Turnover % The Heat is 2nd in the league at 12.8%; the Wizards are 8th at 14%. EDGE: Heat Offensive Rebound % The Heat is 17th in the league at 25.4%; the Wizards are 14th at 26.5%. EDGE: Wizards Free Throw Rate The Heat is 16th in the league at 30.7%; the Wizards are 14th at 31%. EDGE: Even KEY TO THE GAME This one should go the Heat’s way unless the Wizards take over the boards. If Haywood, Butler, Blatche and Oberto set up shop in the paint and keep the Heat off the glass the Wizards could turn this in to the type of close game that could go either way. However, if the Wizards try to win this game in the back court they will lose, barring a major collapse by the Heat. Always guard the inbound passer.