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.
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.
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