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This is (not) a rehearsal: Heat may face the Wizards, 76ers come win-or-go-home playoff time

If Miami can’t beat Washington and/or Philadelphia in the postseason, there will be no tomorrow.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

If the Miami Heat feel they have a tough schedule coming up, then see who the Washington Wizards face after tonight.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans 3/9
  2. Miami Heat 3/10
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves 3/13
  4. Boston Celtics 3/14
  5. Indiana Pacers 3/17
  6. San Antonio Spurs 3/21
  7. Denver Nuggets 3/23

Some random thoughts when looking back at the previous two match-ups.

Heat versus Wizards

PLAYER AGE MIN PTS FGM FGA +/-
PLAYER AGE MIN PTS FGM FGA +/-
Kelly Olynyk 26 24 10 4 7 12
Dion Waiters 26 67 32 11 31 11
Wayne Ellington 30 29 7 2 7 3
Goran Dragic 31 72 27 12 28 -2
Hassan Whiteside 28 65 36 14 20 -2
Justise Winslow 21 40 17 6 14 -6
Tyler Johnson 25 52 22 6 18 -6
Bam Adebayo 20 4 1 0 0 -7
James Johnson 31 58 25 8 19 -10
Josh Richardson 24 69 7 3 17 -23

Wizards versus Heat

PLAYER AGE MIN PTS FGM FGA +/-
PLAYER AGE MIN PTS FGM FGA +/-
Bradley Beal 24 79 52 15 41 14
John Wall 27 73 35 12 33 13
Kelly Oubre Jr. 22 56 11 3 14 8
Otto Porter Jr. 24 72 24 9 18 8
Jason Smith 32 10 5 2 4 5
Markieff Morris 28 46 22 9 19 5
Jodie Meeks 30 30 15 4 6 2
Marcin Gortat 34 54 13 5 15 2
Mike Scott 29 9 4 2 3 -8
Tim Frazier 27 25 5 2 6 -9
Ian Mahinmi 31 26 4 1 3 -10

Kelly Olynyk (26) did very well against the older centers, Ian Mahinmi (31) and Marcin Gortat (34).

Josh Richardson struggled as a forward against the Wizards frontcourt, and should see better results as a shooting guard.

Luke Babbitt and James Johnson give more height and strength up front against Washington, compared to the first two games.

The Wizards recent three loses were due to their weak bench, especially against the Toronto Raptors.

Washington’s rotation is top-heavy in talent with Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris and Gortat logging a lot of minutes every game.

Replacing John Wall with Tomas Satoransky changes the complexion of team since the last time they met, i.e. going from an All-Star backcourt to more of a slower-paced power, battle of the boards, approach.

Kelly Oubre Jr. is their only rotation player under 24 years old, with 5 players 30 years of age or older, so they rely on experience to outsmart younger players like Bam Adebayo.

Still the Wizards need to be taken very seriously due to the extraordinary talents of Beal and Porter Jr., mixed in with the veteran play of Gortat, Morris, et al.

After losing three in a row, and looking at their upcoming games, ESPN predictor gives the Wizards a 68% odds to win and Miami a 4 point handicap.

I can imagine Washington players and coaches saying this game is a must-win considering the teams they face down the road.