August 8, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 54 Recap: Tired legs catch up to the Wiz as they get blown out by Heat

GORTAT SCORES 14 POINTS WITH 13 REBOUNDS, BUT WORN-OUT WIZ FALL

(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

Three games in three nights is one of the most brutal things in basketball, but Randy Wittman said after the all-star break is the ideal time to go through it. So far the Washington Wizards have put together great defensive efforts against Utah and Detroit before taking a trip to South Beach. While the DC club continues to be without the services of Gary Neal (calf) and Alan Anderson (ankle), Miami was reeling with two major blows to their starting lineup without Dwyane Wade (knee) and Chris Bosh (blood clots). The same defensive intensity from the past two nights wasn’t possible with extremely tired legs for Washington. Couple that with poor shooting to start the game, the Wizards fell 114-94 to end the gruesome three-day stretch.

After knocking down their first two shots, Washington missed their next six and allowed Miami to rattle off an 11-0 run early in the first quarter. The Wizards were allowing Miami to beat them at their own game by allowing seven fast break points in under five minutes played. Without the older bodies slowing him down, Goran Dragic was able to get the Heat up and down the court quickly resulting in 9 of 12 shooting to start the game. The offense is going to struggle when John Wall misses his first five shots as tired legs looked to catch up with Washington. Five missed free throw, 1 of 6, did not make things better as the Heat had a commanding 30-19 lead after twelve minutes of play.

The fatigue spread to the second quarter for the Wizards. The bench unit tried to keep things relatively close but Miami put their foot on the pedal with a 9-0 run to put Washington in a 20 point hole. Their was a lid on the basket for the road team as shots were rattling out and they were shooting 32.5 percent (13 of 40) to start the game. The Heat were also outworking the tired Wizards on the glass and held a 30-19 advantage (Hassan Whiteside responsible for 14 in the half) with 4 minutes left in the first half. Washington went on a 12-5 run nearing the end of the half to cut the deficit to 13 but were unable to continue getting stops and trailed 59-44 at halftime.

Washington cut the deficit to 10 during the early moments of the third quarter but simply could not string together enough stops to get any closer. Miami responded with a 19-10 run as the Wizards simply had no answer for Goran Dragic during an up-tempo pace that the tired road team could not keep up with. The Wizards entered the fourth quarter trailing 82-68.

The only puzzling part about the fourth quarter was why Randy Wittman waited so long to wave the white towel and empty the bench. After playing 69 minutes the past two nights, Wall played a game high 33 minutes in Miami even though many of them were unnecessary. Bradley Beal played 29 minutes off the bench, his most during the three-game stretch. Although Washington has a couple of days off there was little chance a comeback would be mounted with the extreme fatigue of the star players. Wittman finally called off the moves with 4:34 remaining although the outcome was inevitable well before that. Washington fell 114-94 at the hands of the Southeast division leading Heat.

Washington (25-29) will have a much deserved two days off before another back-to-back starting with the New Orleans Pelicans (21-33). The Wizards will host Anthony Davis and company on Tuesday at 7 pm.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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