There are two halves in a basketball game. The Wizards know this better than a lot of teams. But so far so good for the Washington vs. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. The Wizards trail by a score of 63-61 at the half in Miami.
Wade has gone off on the Wizards, leading all scorers with 23 points on 10-15 shooting. He lit up the Wizards for 20 points in the second quarter, when he shot 9 of 10 from the field. But Nick Young has been perhaps even better -- netting 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting to keep the Wizards within a single basket against one of the top teams in the NBA. Young has hit 3 of 4 attempts from three, and made all five of his free throw attempts.
The Wizards started a little smaller than usual, with Rashard Lewis sliding over to power forward due to the absence of Andray Blatche. JaVale McGee has picked up the slack on the boards, grabbing 12 rebounds in the first half to go with eight points. John Wall has 11 points and has handed out six assists.
Chris Bosh continues to struggle for the Heat. The third member of Miami's big three has followed up Thursday night's 1-for-18 shooting performance with 1-for-5 night so far. That is never good, but especially against a Wizards front line that is small and has surrendered big nights to many front court players this season. The Wizards have also been able to somewhat limit LeBron James, who has 13 points at half -- although he has taken only six shots as Wade as handled the scoring burden for Miami.
Newcomers Mike Bibby and Maurice Evans each saw time off the bench. Evans shot 2 for 3 and scored five points. Jordan Crawford -- considered the most important player in the deal -- has not come off the bench
In all, it was a strong first half from the Wizards, who have been run off the court by opponents in recent games against Indiana on Tuesday and against Orlando and San Antonio before the All-Star break. But as we saw last night in Philadelphia, a close game at halftime can get out of control quickly. It'll be interesting to see if the Wizards can continue to play with focus and confidence in the second half.