It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. With Russell Westbrook sitting out in another back to back night game, Bradley Beal carried the Washington Wizards to victory over the Miami Heat 103-100. This snaps a 3-game skid against the Heat and marks their first win in Miami since November 10th, 2018.
The Wizards are not 1-3 in 2nd back to back games this season. If I see on Twitter one more time that we won because of Westbrook did not play, you are getting blocked. Just an asinine statement.
Beal puts on an absolute show and breaks accolades with his performance last night putting up 32 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assist in 32 minutes. Welcome to the 12K point Club Brad! With his 15th point last night, Beal became the second player to score 12,000 points for the Washington Wizards in franchise history. He has a little more work to catch up to Elvin Hayes who scored 15, 551 points for Washington but it can be done with Brad’s caliber of talent.
Last night also marked Beal’s 17th consecutive 25-plus point game to start the season, breaking the longest streak to begin a season since the NBA/ABA merger. He breaks the record of 16 held by someone we all may know….Michael Jordan.
Miami vs Washington
Washington started off the game against Miami very differently than their loss the night prior against Trailblazers. Beal established an early lead for the Wizards with two quick 3’s and fans knew that this night would be different. The Trailblazers were able to go on an 18-0 run in the first quarter with 5 minutes left and scored 40 points. Washington fought hard to overcome the lead but ultimately failed to capitalize on Portland’s poor judgment of shooting.
Last night, Washington faced deficits early. Turnover after turnover to end the first was the fuel needed to ignite the fire in order to keep Miami in the game. Five turnovers in the first is just unacceptable and protecting possessions must be a priority for this team to win in the future. Turning the ball over and the inability to defend anyone is just a cancer to any team in development.
Tyler Herro was able to score his season average in the first half. He scored 17 and went 7 for 9 from the field. Washington’s inability to close out on the open 3 was just pitiful to watch. On the same token, this Miami team is not the same defensive team from last year. The Wizards were able to run simple plays and screens for open spot-up 3’s. These teams were just trading back and forth but neither able to truly capitalize on opportunities.
For instance, in the 3rd quarter, Miami starts off shooting 2/12 and the Wizards are only able to cut a 10 point deficit by 1. Almost as if when this team plays defense they cannot conduct any offensive rhythm and vice versa. Their ability to spark a run and give it right back is actually pretty funny to watch. With a string of decent defense and solid shots, we were able to lead by 1 with a minute left in the 3rd but ultimately ended up trailing by 5 to enter the 4th.
Scott Brooks sits Beal out to start the 4th and the bench mob carries the work until it is time for him to return. Normally when this happens it does not go well and there is a hole for this team to dig themselves out of. Miami shoots 2/8 to start the 4th and Washington is able to gain a 6 point lead with 7 minutes left thanks to a 16 to 5 run. The bench contributed over 15 points.
Here is where things get interesting and Scott Brooks’ coaching comes into question once again and it is not surprising. Washington is able to obtain two crucial rebounds with a 2 point lead and 5 seconds left. Beal is fouled, makes one of two free throws, and gives the Wizards a 3 point lead. Miami has the possession with 4 seconds left and Washington does not have any fouls to give. In this case, you would think the logical thing to do is foul because Miami shoots two free throws and it forces them to make 2 or miss one to try and win. Unless of course, they foul behind the 3 point line.
Washington allows Tyler Herro to inbounds the ball, go over a screen, and get a good shot at the rim to tie. The shot must have been going in slow motion because with the Wizard’s luck it could hit the front of the rim, top of the backboard, and still go in. The Basketball God’s lift their favor for the Wizards and the shot is missed.
WIZARDS WIN! WIZARDS WIN!
We are now 5-13. Yay Yayye!!!
After Game Thoughts
Scotts Brooks coaching and rotations are just ridiculous and mind-boggling. Like seriously, what is this guy thinking or doing? At the beginning of the season, I predicted that he wouldn’t make it to the All-Star game but due to covid, he will keep his job. We do not see players for a long string of games, get thrown in and then expected to perform at a high caliber. Troy Brown and Isaac Bonga have not seen the light of day this season despite being such a big part of the team last season.
Troy Brown Jr finally receives run with Neto and Russel Westbrook out. Is that what it has to take? Mind you, he is not the most sound from 3 but he is one of our top rebounders, defender and ball handler. Overall, TBJ played a very impressive game, his ability to dominate the boards when Washington was in zone was a key factor. The young talent finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, and no turnovers in 21 minutes. He should be seeing more minutes in coming games.
Deni Avdija aka the Wizraeli is the truth. He said at the beginning of the season that he is not scared of this opportunity to play in the NBA and is proving it. His ability to hit clutch shots when needed as a rookie is not something you see every year. The Wizraeli put up 13 points, shot 55% from FG, and shot 60 percent from 3 point range. The flick in the wrist is real. Leave him open if you want to.
Last but not least, where is Moe Wagner? Scott Brooks making Robin Lopez defend Bam Adebayo is just barbecue chicken all night. Seems as if Scottie is only playing players based on salary and that should never be the case. Salary should not matter when it comes to playing time. If you perform then you play, simple as that. Stop playing with Moe and play him!