During Wizards vs. Heat pregame coverage on the 106.7 FM radio broadcast, Flip Saunders said the Wizards needed to compete. Following the All-Star break, Washington had lost its first two games by an average of twenty points, and the games hadn't been close at all in the second half.
That was far from the case in a 121-113 loss against Miami, that felt for three quarters like the best game the Wizards had played in recent memory. Dwyane Wade -- who went for 20 points in the second quarter -- carried Miami in the fourth quarter as the Heat separated themselves from the Wizards down the stretch. Wade finished with 41 points.
This was a big game for the Wizards' young core. Nick Young torched Miami for 38 points, hitting six threes and all eight of his free throw attempts. The only thing that slowed him all night was an awkward landing that sent him to the locker room to get his foot taped.
John Wall had a double-double -- his 21st of the season -- with 24 points and 12 assists. Wall continues to attack the basket (12 free throw attempts). Meanwhile, JaVale McGee held down the interior with 18 points, 17 rebounds.
The one young piece that was missing was forward Andray Blatche, who sat out with lingering effects of a right hip injury suffered against Philadelphia on Thursday. And while t's tempting to say that it's more than coincidence that the Wizards seemed to move the ball crisply around the perimeter in his absence, it's probably prudent to reserve judgment at this point based on one game.
As for the new guys, there is little to report. Maurice Evans led the trio with seven points in 14+ minutes. Mike Bibby didn't provide much in limited minutes and Jordan Crawford only saw seven minutes of action.