The Washington Wizards play at the Miami Heat on Monday 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: CSN (Coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Improvement on defense
The Miami Heat are one of the worst scoring teams in basketball, ranking 27th in the NBA in points per game (96.8), 27th in field goal percentage (42.9), 23rd in assists per game (20.1) and 24th in offensive rating (102.9). But for one night at the Verizon Center, on Nov. 19, the Heat did not look the part. They scored a season-high 114 points against the Wizards, including 33 in the first quarter alone.
The Wizards had a lot of trouble with big man Hassan Whiteside, who had 18 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks in the game. Goran Dragic was able to attack the basket at will and finished with 22 points and six assists. This should be a good test for the Wizards to see if they are better off defensively now than they were a month ago. This game does come on the heels of two impressive performances on defense for the Wizards in wins against the Nuggets and the Bucks. If they beat the Heat, the Wizards will have won three straight games for the first time this season.
Can Oubre keep it up?
Second-year forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. is in the middle of the best and most consistent stretch of his NBA career. Over his last seven games, Oubre has scored 9.4 points to go along with 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 22.5 minutes per night. He's shot 51.1 percent from the field and 40 percent from three on 2.9 attempts per game.
The 2015 first round pick appears to be blossoming before our eyes and his emergence has allowed head coach Scott Brooks more flexibility with his lineups. Now he feels comfortable playing both Oubre and Otto Porter at the same time, along with John Wall and Bradley Beal, in a small-ball set. It puts four players on the court who can wreak havoc with their length and quickness, all the while freely switching on screens. On Monday, though, that lineup will be put to the test with Whiteside down low. If Brooks chooses to rely heavily on the Otto-Oubre combination, it could leave Marcin Gortat alone on an island with Whiteside.
Heat are banged up
Miami continues to deal with injuries to key players and on Monday night will be without Justise Winslow (wrist) and Dion Waiters (groin). Those are three important guys on a team that is already struggling at 7-17 after 24 games.
Winslow, who also missed the first matchup between the Wizards and Heat, leads Miami with 35.9 minutes per game this season. Waiters is fifth on the team with 31.8 minutes per game and Johnson isn't too far behind with 24.4 minutes per game, ninth on the team. Waiters scored 16 in the first game between the Wizards and Heat this season.
Eric Spoelstra's rotation has been stretched quite thin at shooting guard and small forward, and lately is has really hurt them, as the Heat have lost five straight games.