John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters and the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT MIAMI HEAT
Where: American Airlines Arena
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Wizards are gaining steam
The Wizards find themselves in a desirable spot as they head to Miami for the first game in a home-and-home set against the Heat. Washington has won three straight and sit 8-5 on the season. That's good for third in the Eastern Conference and their .615 win percentage is tied for sixth-best in the NBA. They have righted the ship just in time to face a good Miami team.
The Wizards were one of the NBA's best offensive teams last year and are now even better. In 2016-17 they ranked fifth in the league in points per game (109.2). This season they are second (111.4) and behind only the Golden State Warriors (119.6). The Wizards also boast the fourth-best offensive rating (110.9), the fifth-best field goal percentage (47.4) and the fifth-best average point differential (+5.5). Their defense has its ebbs and flows, but this team can flat-out score.
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Wall is banged up
John Wall is a big reason for why the Wizards are so good on offense, but right now he is not at 100 percent. That's despite his 21 points and nine assists on Monday night against the Kings. Wall is still playing with his left shoulder taped up, has had migraines and a cold recently, and on Monday he sprained his ankle. Over the weekend he also had fluid build up in his knee after getting IVs.
That's a lot of ailments and Wall will now have to go up against one of the better point guards in the NBA in Goran Dragic. The Heat point guard is having another strong season with 19.8 points, 4.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. He shoots an impressive 47.1 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three. What Dragic is exceptionally good at is getting past perimeter defenders and into the lane.
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Heat give Wizards fits
Dragic is good against everyone, but he has given Wall trouble in particular. Last year Dragic scored 25.5 points per game on 51.4 percent shooting against the Wizards. Those numbers were a big reason why the Heat won all four meetings between the teams last season. Miami has won five straight games against the Wizards overall dating back to 2015-16.
Big man Hassan Whiteside (15.9 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 1.9 bpg) is a force down low. Dion Waiters (16.4 ppg) can get hot and change games with his scoring. James Johnson (12.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.3 apg) is hard-nosed and can go a little bit of everything. And surely Wizards fans remember Kelly Olynyk (9.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg). The last time the Wizards saw him he dropped 26 points for the Celtics in a decisive Game 7 of their second round playoff series. He also had a little run-in with Kelly Oubre, Jr. during that series, in case you forgot.
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