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While Wizards hum, Heat out of sync


While Wizards hum, Heat out of sync

When it comes to NBA injuries, don't expect a sympathy card from the Washington Wizards. Yet in Wednesday's matchup with the Heat, the Wizards were actually the healthier team. Thanks to their start-to-finish 106-87 victory, they ensured Miami was the squad still searching for answers.

The Heat pounded the Wizards 97-75 on Jan. 3, a loss that put Washington down a losing path at home. Yet the South Florida team's fortunes turned south soon after. The injuries piled up. So did the losses.  Wednesday's was Miami's third straight and six in seven games. The forecast calls for more uncertainty for the remainder of their five-game home trip.

"Somebody get a violin before you ask a question," Heat forward Chris Bosh joked with reporters following the loss. "Get a nice little medley going in A-minor. A-minor is a sad note, right?"

Teams endure dips throughout an 82-game season. No doubt, Miami is in the midst of one now.

RELATED: Wizards roll back clock with super-size lineup

Dwyane Wade (sore shoulder) hoped to play, but couldn't. Goran Dragic, Miami's other starting guard, missed his fifth straight game with a calf strain. Three others also were unavailable from the start. Center Hassan Whiteside, whose defense fueled the win in Washington earlier in the month, left in the second quarter with a hip injury. Forward Luol Deng was inadvertently poked in the eye in the fourth quarter.

That's why Bosh passed on offering any plan-of-attack thoughts for Friday's matchup against the Raptors.

"I don't even know who is going to play in Toronto," he said after leading the Heat with 18 points.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra knows his plan for Thursday.

"Our trainers will be busy. We have everybody on staff with us for a reason," he said. "They won't have a day of but the rest of the group will."

While the Heat were off-key, the Wizards were in rhythm from the start. Six players scored in double figures.

When it comes to the games, Spoelstra knows there are no nights off in the NBA, no pats on the heads from opponents.  With the slide, Miami (23-20) fell to seventh in the East. The up-and-down Wizards are two back, tied for 10th.

"This train keeps on going. Nobody is waiting for us. We don't expect anybody to wait for us. We'll be ready Friday night," Spoelstra said.

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards smoke Heat 106-87: Five takeaways

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Three things to watch for Wizards vs. Clippers, as Wizards aim to get back on track

Three things to watch for Wizards vs. Clippers, as Wizards aim to get back on track

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Dwight Howard and the Washington Wizards battle Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Marcin Gortat and the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here are three things to watch...

Looking for something

The Wizards enter Tuesday night’s game while dealing with an array of issues both on and off the court. They have lost two straight games and sit 5-11 on the season. Meanwhile, rumors of trade talks and dysfunction have them in national headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The Wizards will now have to compartmentalize all of it and play a basketball game. Awaiting them is a tough and determined Clippers team.

L.A. beat them just three weeks ago on Oct. 28 and have an impressive 10-5 record. That’s tied for third-best in the Western Conference.

Can Wall or Beal get going?

The Wizards’ two best players are scuffling right now. In their last three games, two of them losses, John Wall and Bradley Beal have not been themselves.

Beal is averaging just 17.3 points while shooting 39.6 percent from the field. Wall is putting up just 16.0 points and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 38 percent from the field.

If the Wizards are to get out of the hole they are in, a big game from either Wall or Beal would certainly help.

Gortat returns

The irony of the current mess is that Marcin Gortat will be making his D.C. return in this game. He started five years for the Wizards and was entangled in some of their controversies over the years. Now he comes back with his new team in a much different position than his old one.

Surely, Gortat will address the media about his return. Will he take the high road or throw salt in the wounds? And how will fans receive the former Wizard? He had a complicated legacy in Washington. 


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Frustration reportedly boils over in recent incidents at Wizards practice

Frustration reportedly boils over in recent incidents at Wizards practice

Following a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday morning about the possibility that every member of the Wizards' roster, including stars John Wall and Bradley Beal, could be available in a potential trade with the right suitor, more followed Monday -- this time about frustration boiling over in practice.

Prior to the publication of Monday afternoon's reports, Bradley Beal addressed the day's earlier reports when speaking with the media.

“I mean, I’m not going to be naïve to it, you know,” Beal said. “I have a phone just like everybody else does. There were rumors weeks ago. Then, I didn’t buy into them. Now, I’m still not going to buy into them because if that’s my main priority and focus then I’m going to be messed up on the floor.”

As reports continued to swirl Monday, forward Kelly Oubre appeared to allude to the situation on Twitter.

A spokesperson for the Wizards declined to comment on the reports.

The Wizards return to the court to face the Clippers on Tuesday at Capital One Arena.