On Sunday night at 6PM, the Miami Heat will play the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center. It's the second of four games between the two teams this season. The Heat lost the first in Miami, 114-103 on December 7th. They'll play again in Washington D.C. on January 20th and close out the series on February 20th in Miami.
Miami is playing a one-game road-trip. They'll return to Miami for two games afterward, first against the Indiana Pacers tomorrow then against the New York Knicks on Wednesday. The Wizards are playing in the second game of a four-game homestand. They defeated the Orlando Magic 103-91 on New Year Day, and will go on to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday and the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
The last time the Heat played the Wizards was on December 7th. The 8-10 Washington squad defeated the 12-6 Heat in Miami by a 114-103 final count. John Wall led the way with 26 points and seven assists, Bradley Beal and Gary Neal each scored 21, and Otto Porter scored 13 with 14 rebounds. Dwyane Wade paced the Heat with 26 points and nine dimes, while Goran Dragic finished with 20 and nine, respectively.
This is the NBA right now. Welcome to this league. Everybody has a speed-space lineup. You have to be able to adapt, you have to be able to contain the basketball and keep the ball out of the paint with different lineups. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
Miami's last time out would see them set down the Dallas Mavericks, 106-82 behind 25 points and 19 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside. Gerald Green had 19, Chris Bosh scored 16 with seven boards, and Goran Dragic had 15 with seven assists and four rebounds. Zaza Pachulia led the Mavs with 14 and 13 rebounds.
You want to be tested. You want to be measured in this league. You want to be pushed to adversity. - Spoelstra
The Wizards defeated the Magic in their last game, 103-91 on New Years Day. John Wall scored 24 with 13 assists, Otto Porter had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcin Gortat scored 10 with 14 boards in the win. For the Magic, Victor Oladipo led the way with 20 points off the bench, while Tobias Harris earned a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
If I knew that a combination was going to work, I'd be a hell of a coach. It's just a hunch. - Wizards coach Randy Wittman
Line: Wizards by -1.5
All-Time Head-to-Head: Miami is 73-37, and their .664 win percentage ranks as their third-best against any team, behind the Sacramento Kings (.685) and the Toronto Raptors (.671).
Miami Heat: 19-13, .594, on pace for 49-33. Second in the Southeast Division, fifth in the Eastern Conference, ninth in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-L-L-W. Playoff Odds: 65.6%
Washington Wizards: 15-16, .484, on pace for 40-42. Fifth in the Southeast Division, 11th in the Eastern Conference, 17th in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-L-L-W. Playoff Odds: 9.0%
Look for Miami's backcourt to go off a little against Washington's perimeter defense. Wade, Dragic, and Tyler Johnson should keep the Wizards honest, as will Chris Bosh from outside. The Wizards are slightly favored, but Miami should easily win this one by 10 or more points.