Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wiz Try to Keep Up the Sizzle in South Beach (Fo Shizzle)

The Wizards head down to South Beach tonight to take on the reeling Miami Heat. Since Dwyane Wade’s return to the lineup, the Heat (6-15) have put together a few decent wins, including back-to-back victories at the Clippers and Suns, but they’re still tied with the Knicks for the worst record in the East. Shaquille O’Neal is managing just 14.6 points per game – a career low – and the Heat are getting very little from their supporting cast.

Wade leads the team with 22 points per contest and
Ricky Davis is putting up 15 (on his 30+ shots per game), but after Shaq and Udonis Haslem (13 ppg), the Heat don’t have reliable scoring options. They are improving of late as D-Wade has 30 or more in each of his last three so the Wizards(11-10) will need to score like they have been over the last six games to snatch their first win in Miami since April 2003.

Key Match-Up

  • Antawn Jamison v. Udonis Haslem – AJ has been a complete monster all season, but his production has been incredibly consistent over the past month. He’s averaging 23 and 11 in Washington’s last 10 games and has recorded double-doubles in 11 of 13 contests. At 6-foot-8, Udonis Haslem is a tough defensive match-up for the former UNC All-America and the two will scrap all night for rebounds as Haslem looks to tally his nine-board season average. If AJ continues to connect on his silky smooth runners, flip-shots and put-backs, he’ll easily overmatch the former Gator. But if Haslem can disrupt Jamison’s offensive flow with physical play, the Heat will take this one.


  • Darius Songaila returns to action tonight after sitting out Tuesday’s game with a mild left ankle sprain suffered Sunday against New Jersey. The Wiz will be happy to have his big body to help clog up the middle and the extra fouls he can give up on the Diesel.

  • Roger Mason Jr. kept up his hot streak against the T-Wolves on Tuesday. The Virginia/Good Counsel product poured in 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting including 2-for-4 from three-point range. With 12.8 points and just four turnovers in the last five games, Mason is becoming a very reliable scoring option off the bench for Eddie Jordan.


The Wizards did exactly what they needed to do to beat a bad Minnesota team Tuesday. Caron Butler (20) and Jamsion (22) got their usual scoring totals, the rest of the starting five cracked double-figures for the second-straight game, the Wiz got key contributions of the bench from Mason and they won the battle of the boards handily, 57-35. It won’t be that easy tonight in Miami, but the Wizards need to stick to their guns. If they spread the ball around the floor to find open shooters, continue to crash the boards hard and get to the free throw line, they should win this one. The Heat are playing better but they remain a far cry from the team that won it all two years ago. Washington needs to get over its thermaphobia and beat the Heat. It’s going to be close but I like Caron, AJ and the boys to snap that eight-game losing streak with a 98-94 victory.

-- The Tar Heel

1 comment:

DC SportsClown said...

Should have done my research before predicting this one. The Wiz are 0-6 when they don't reach 100 points, so of course they needed more than 98 to dig this one out.

They're 12-4 when they crack the century mark.