Posts tagged ‘Miami Heat’
The Wizards are in Miami tonight for a rematch with Dwyane Wade and the rest of whomever he plays with.
The sense of urgency is elevated. Yea, yea … it’s early. But considering where things stand, tonight’s game and how the Wizards respond to their self-induced and injury-induced adversity is much more important at a record of 2-5 than if the Wizards were, say, 4-3 and still learning how to play with each other.
Lackluster Wizards, lackluster Verizon Center … I’m not sure which bred which, but the result was an absolutely ugly opening for the Washington basketball squad. Down 31-17 after a first quarter where the Wizards shot 29.2% and committed seven turnovers (five personal and two shot clock violations), three courtesy of Caron Butler, Flip Saunders’ team found themselves trying to claw their way back into the game. And they eventually did.
With the ball, game tied at 89, and under a minute left, the Wizards offensively followed with: Caron Butler getting his show blocked by Wade, a steal with Stevenson getting fouled while out of control on a fast break, but missing both free-throws, and three missed Gilbert Arenas interior shots … once down 91-89, once down 92-89, and finally down 93-89, which was the final score. On the first occasion Arenas probably got fouled, on the second, one of his charted “shots” was really a lob to Haywood that hit rim not hands, and on the final occasion, Arenas simply missed a layup.
Anyway you slice it, the Wizards finished the final minute of the game in a sloppy manner like a team fractured on offense. But Flip Saunders remembers it differently. “I remember the first minute, falling behind by 19, not coming out with the energy that we have played previously in all the games,” said Saunders. “The basketball gods will get you and you can’t cheat the game in a lot of situations.”
If the Washington Wizards prefer to lie amongst the weeds and surprise everyone, a panel of 53 ESPN experts is trying to make that happen (despite the Wizards being voted by the same ESPN panel to have the biggest turnaround this upcoming season).
Tied with both Philadelphia and Toronto to achieve 39 wins, and finish seventh through ninth in the East (the averages actually break out to PHI – 39.4, WAS – 39.1, TOR – 39.0), the ESPN panel believes that the Wizards will be fighting just to make the playoffs.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix and The Wages of Wins Journal both seem to think the Wiz will be significantly better than sub-40 wins, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Maybe some of the ESPN experts think the Wizards’ defense won’t be up to par, or that their frontcourt is too thin and they desperately need an upgrade. Of course, when Mike Prada of Bullets Forever wrote the two previously linked pieces, he had improving the team to compete for a championship in mind, not so they can solidify a playoff position. Still, both defense and frontcourt are valid areas of concern.
Tags: 2009-10 Wizards, andre igoudala, andre miller, brad miller, derrick rose, eastern conference, Eddie Jordan, espn, jennero pargo, joakim noah, john salmons, jrue holiday, lou williams, luol deng, Miami Heat, philadephia 7ers, royal ivey, tyrus thomas, washington wizards
On the eve of Mike Miller and Randy Foye becoming distinguished gentlemen for the Washington Wizards, I’d toiled over a ‘should the Wizards trade Brendan Haywood post‘. It began …
“Everyone likes Haywood.
Hell, I like Haywood (now), and recently challenged someone to name five better ‘Centers’ in the East. They couldn’t.
Last week, I had a chance to interview Mike James over the phone from Houston as he was on his way to the gym. Why Mike James? Well, the guy was nice enough to respond to my email and subsequently agree to chat. Doubt many NBA players would do the same for a ‘blogger’.
In speaking with Mike, I came away with two main impressions; he absolutely loves the game of basketball and he’s very confident — two traits you’ll probably find in every player who sticks around in the best basketball league in the world for more than five seasons.
Acquired from New Orleans in mid-December, James’ presence on the court in a season inevitably filled with mounting losses was the cause of frustration for many Wizards fans who would have rather seen younger players developing on the court.
Price, the current Atlanta Hawks shooting coach, may still be right for Cleveland Cavaliers fans, but that’s far from the case for Wizards/Bullets fans.
A reminder of how the Cavs fleeced former Bullets GM, John Nash (from this May ’08 post):
Tags: 1996 nba draft, 95-96 washington bullets, Atlanta Hawks, brent price, chris webber, cleveland, don maclean, double-edged sword, gheorghe muresan, jermaine o'neal, john nash, juwan howard, kobe bryany, ledell eackles calbert cheaney, mark price, Miami Heat, peja stojakovic, rasheed wallace, robert pack, scott skiles, steve nash, t-shirt, tim legler, vitaly potapenko, waiting for next year, zydrunas ilgauskas
But there I found myself, coming home to an on television Friday night, checking out game six of an incredibly boring Heat-Hawks series.
Dan Marino was courtside, ESPN showed his retired jersey in the rafters. Little curious to see it hanging in a basketball arena, but okay … I’ll go with it.
I once ate at Dan Marino’s steakhouse in the gloriously classy Hooters Hotel & Casino in Vegas … or is it delightfully tacky, yet unrefined? In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Marino’s steakhouse. Plus, you gotta give the guy credit for going from the prince of coal mining country to the king of South Beach … the equivalent to Biggie Smalls going ashy to classy.
Went to the Wizards-Heat game on Saturday night…..it might have been the most boring game I’ve ever attended in life. But I can’t exactly put my finger on why (sans Agent Zero notwithstanding)…..rather, why the team decided to give such a lackluster effort.
The crowd was unsurprisingly quiet….the absence of Gilbert Arenas, even from the bench, did it’s job to suck the wind out of the phone booth. Word from Nick Young, via Wizards Insider, was that Saturday was the two-year anny of Gil’s knee injury, and that Arenas was talking about it all day. So, naturally, he didn’t play. That’s Gil and oh well, can’t blame him.
Brendan Haywood looked good, dunking several times with that wrist. Finger pointing and communication in the lane is up 30%, if I had to guess.
Tags: 2008-09 Wizards, bens chili bowl, brendan haywood, Darius Songaila, dwyane wade, Gilbert Arenas, gilbert arenas contract, gilbert arenas knee, jamaal magloire, jumbo slice, kwame brown, Miami Heat, michael beasley, Nick Young, u street
In anticipation of tonight’s rematch between the Wizards and the Heat, I decided to get in touch with Greg from the Peninsula is Mightier (a Miami Heat blog of course) to see if he could answer a couple questions I had about his team. Read on…….
1) The Heat are making due at the 5 spot with Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, and Mark Blount. How much help do you think Jamaal Magloire can really provide? Do you think the Canadian is motivated enough to shed the “washed-up” stigma? What did you think of his signing in the first place…..low risk or act of desperation?
I don’t expect much of anything from Magloire. He certainly won’t supplant Haslem, and I don’t know that he offers an upgrade over Anthony or Blount either. I was among the few who thought he could help when Miami signed him, but after a glimpse of him in preseason, I think he’s finished. The signing was low risk, but it also took a roster spot away from a prospect like David Padgett, an undrafted rookie out of Louisville who gave Miami some decent minutes in preseason and obviously has a much higher ceiling than Magloire. Unless a legit center becomes available in trade, I’ll stick with Anthony spelling Haslem and Blount getting spot minutes.
2) Some will still attest that Chris Quinn should not be receiving significant time on the court for an NBA team. Do you think his play will change opinions? The guy rarely commits a turnover and knocks down open threes…..what more could one expect? What should his role be for the Heat going forward?
Quinn’s a good player, and I think he’s right when he says that perception becomes reality when people evaluate him. He was one of two or three bright spots last year, but spent the summer in restricted free-agent purgatory, came back on a low-end contract and opened the season third on the depth chart, so there’s something Miami doesn’t like. And I don’t think Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra are hung up on appearances if the guy could help them win, so I’m left to assume that Quinn has a fatal flaw I’m overlooking. My guesses are defense (unremarkable), shot selection (he likes the early 3) or just general upside (Mario Chalmers was drafted as a long-term starter). Still, I think Miami is a better team when he gets regular minutes, and I predict he’ll craft a long career out of defying expectations. Hope that happens in Miami.