The first half can be summed up as one thing, a full blown atrocity. The Heat were just unable to find any rhythm without starters Dwyane Wade or Luol Deng, and looked like a bunch of D-League players (which to be fair most were not to long ago). Whatever the case the way the Heat played was an embarrassment, they couldn't hit shots or even attempt to contest a shot on the other end. They got that they deserved allowing the Wizards 40 first quarter points, and easy buckets like this:
The second quarter was no different. Miami went into the locker room having scored only 39 points, and everything appears bleak, until something amazing happened. Down 35 with 7:00 minutes to go in the third quarter, the Heat dug deep and managed to break through the wall holding them back.
Led by Goran Dragic, Miami attempted a comeback and went on an impressive run where Dragic managed to put up 10 points in a very short amount of time before hurting his back on an awkward foul. Dragic wouldn't return, but the Heat wouldn't stop there with Shabazz Napier managing to bring some madness back to March and hit three 3-point shots in a row, bringing the Heat closer to closing the large deficit.
Miami was incredible in the third absolutely manhandling the Wizards, and it wouldn't stop there. Surprisingly, it was Michael Beasley who stepped up in the fourth as he shredded the Wizards defense going for 13 points, all in the quarter. The Heat came very close, and had many calls go there way (i.e Tyler Johnson putback fiasco) but niether Henry Walker nor Beasley could hit that elusive final jumper.
This game was heartbreaking, and an emotional roller coaster but goes to show how deep the Heat bench actually is. I have renewed hope for all these guys, especially Michael Beasley.
- Goran Dragic: Miami would not have been able to get as close as they did without Dragic. He played with so much heart that it was absolutely devastating when he couldn't return. Hopefully his injury isn't very serious. His final stat-line was 18 points and 7 assists.
- Shabazz Napier: Without Mario Chalmers in the line-up, Napier absolutely delivered going off for 16 points and 4 assists. He really held his composure in tough situations, and my outlook on Napier's potential has shifted into a new light.
- Michael Beasley: I've always like Beasley, and tonight he really showed what he can do. Perhaps it's the pressure he's under now that he realizes this might be his final chance in the show, but whatever the case he delivered tonight (despite the game winning hiccup). Beasley had 13 points in the fourth quarter alone, and still has the potential to great.
- James Ennis: Ennis is a monster. He could have gotten hurt very badly on his poster attempt, but it was the fact that he attempted it that makes me such a big fan of his. Keep fishing James, you'll catch one soon enough.
- Hassan Whiteside: Whiteside wasn't the player we've gotten to know this season, and really acted like a stubborn mess. He had just one rebound in the first half, and got a technical foul after shoving Gortat on a play where he probably should have dunked to avoid contact. Whiteside has a short fuse, and hopefully Spoelstra can manage it going forward.
- Henry Walker: Henry Walker is a hard worker. His hustle and tenacity should be commended, but what I can't praise is his shooting. Walker shot 2-10 from three point range. What is worrisome is he never stopped shooting even after going cold. I don't think even Ray Allen gets the green light for all of those shots.
- The entire first half: The Heat let the Wizards score 40 points in the first quarter, the most for a Heat opponent in any quarter this season. That's terrible.