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Danny

Wizards at HEAT Official Game Thread and Preview

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(Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon)

The Miami HEAT look to bounce back from Friday night's loss when they host the Washington Wizards tonight. The HEAT are 22-9 and sit atop the Eastern Conference. The Wizards are 7-24. Tip off is set for 6 PM; coverage on Sun Sports starts at 5:30 PM.

1. Everyone wants to talk about Miami's rebounding right now. What's the main issue?

Couper Moorhead: Rebounding, like defense, is largely about energy and effort. Yes, some players have natural instincts that give them advantages over others, but in the end rebounding always comes down to fighting for position, boxing out and going after the ball -- not waiting for the ball to come to you or for a teammate to get it. Miami's aggressive defensive scheme can make it easy for player to be in put in tough spots to get boards, but we've seen smaller lineups work many times in the past, and rebounding isn't an issue when the team is playing playoff-caliber defense. Size isn't the answer. Being better is.

Danny Martinez: The main issue is there are lots of little issues. The HEAT’s energy level has been a little low on the boards, and teams like the Chicago Bulls have been able to take advantage of it. Little things like box-outs have been a touch slow. The good news is the issue can be fixed without making any substantial changes to the rotation. The HEAT have shown they can rebound while playing “small,” and upping the energy level a little bit will go a long way.

2. Have we reached the point where there always has to be a problem for the HEAT, just so things stay interesting?

Couper: Pretty much. We've long since past the point where LeBron isn't compelling enough for people, so they have to come up with more interesting candidates for honors like MVP's even though he is clearly the best player in the league. And now we're seeing a bit of the same thing with Miami. Not that they are clearly the best team in the league because they haven't always played like it, but this is a contending roster and people seem unwilling to let a very, very good team go through the normal ups and downs of a season without finding a specific flaw to focus in on. Much is said this time of year that has little bearing on the future.

Danny: Yep. The HEAT have the best record in the Eastern Conference and it seems all anyone can talk about is how they are flawed. The HEAT aren’t perfect, but 31 games into the season, they’re doing just fine. With this core, the HEAT’s focus will always be on the postseason and winning titles. That can’t be done in December and January. It’s understandable to get frustrated with losses or poor performances, but there’s not reason to panic about anything that appears to be an issue now. The HEAT don’t have a fatal flaw. Not on the defensive end and not on the glass.

3. What can John Wall do for Washington when he returns in a couple of weeks?

Couper: To say he'll make them better is a little beside the point for this team. Wall is good, and the Wizards might win a few more games with him, but that organization really needs from him is a set direction. Wall needs to prove that he is on his way to becoming a Top-20 player in the league and one that the Wizards can build around. So far -- though the roster has limited him in the past -- he has yet to do so. The talent is there, and while he isn't going to save this season, Wall is more than capable of building a foundation for himself and those around him.

Danny: When Wall returns, so does hope. The Wizards haven’t had the success they thought they would after drafting Wall. There have been personnel issues, which have since been taken care of, followed by Wall struggling with injuries. When he takes the court in the next couple of weeks, Wall will look to show he’s the foundational player the Wizards have been missing. Their roster has turned over significantly the last 12 months, and the idea is that Wall can help all of the pieces fit together. The playoffs aren’t in the cards this season, but, with Wall, they’re the goal for 2014.

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Bounce back game,I'd say? MIAMI needs to re-establish their dominance after a couple of lackluster performances.Washington is going to be looking for a repeat performance,MIAMI must thwart any hope of a Wizard's victory early,throughout the game,and with hustle.You know the Wizards are going to come in confident and cocky,due in part because of MIAMI's recent play,mostly because they've beaten MIAMI already.Let's just hope MIAMI gives us a stress-free game...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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Interesting that the Heat had a team meeting to address rebounding issues. We'll see if that has any effect on today's game. Go Heat!

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hopefully kmart starts tonight so we can finally rebound

AMIRITE!?

You're wrong. This is our next center:

ca2.jpg

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and lebron's streak of 20pts or more continues on, good game from bosh so far with 17-9, ray ray with 16pts... d-wade isn't having a good game but hell its the wizards so who gives a damn lol...

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We actually played a team just as bad as us at rebounding. It's to bad we can't play the Wizards every night.

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We actually played a team just as bad as us at rebounding. It's to bad we can't play the Wizards every night.

lol great team to bounce back against and helps us get some breating room on the knicks for that #1 seed on the ec...

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12reb for ud, at least somebody on the team took rebounding as a top priority to heart...

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This Wizards team is the worst team in the NBA record wise and really I don't have much to say the Heat did what they were suppose to do against a team like this and that was winning easily.

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I don't care if they are the worst team in the NBA record-wise. Rebounding-wise they are 6th in the league and we're 29th, yet we outrebounded them 40-29, so we were good on the boards today.

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No, The Wizards are 6th in rebounding in the NBA...We are 29th

http://www.nba.com/statistics/sortable_team_statistics/sortable2.html

http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/team/_/stat/rebounds-per-game/sort/avgReboundsDifference

Washington gets a lot of rebounds because they're the worst offense in the league so they have more opportunitys to get offensive rebounds. They still get out rebounded by their opponents though.

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http://espn.go.com/n...oundsDifference

Washington gets a lot of rebounds because they're the worst offense in the league so they have more opportunitys to get offensive rebounds. They still get out rebounded by their opponents though.

Exactly they get lots of rebounds every game because they miss MANY SHOTS and usually they do get out rebounded in games.

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http://espn.go.com/n...oundsDifference

Washington gets a lot of rebounds because they're the worst offense in the league so they have more opportunitys to get offensive rebounds. They still get out rebounded by their opponents though.

thats not case. theyre 16th in offensive rebounds and 8th in defensive rebounds.

they get outrebounded cause they suck.

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The Pacers pose a bigger threat,if MIAMI can dominate them like they performed tonight,what will be the analysis of MIAMI's rebounding dedication? I ask that because a few fans are still discounting the rebounding effort simply because the Wizards are,well,the Wizards...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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This was going to be a bounce back game before the ball was ever tossed in the air for the Heat. Washington had no shot from the get go with the Heat’s great ball movement and obvious attention to the boards. Great to see the Heat out rebound an opponent, albeit the lowly Washington Wizards, by 11 (50-39), it also doesn’t help when the team goes the last 7 minutes on a 21-0 run.

Not much to say about the game but does anyone else hate kid day every season? I don’t hate kids, I just hate when they cut away to show a kid during game play. They do know most of us are tuning in for the game and not them interviewing 7 year olds, right?

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nice win for the Heat and total effort for the team.

We will win this 6 road games by 20+, Believe it!, it's time to unleash the true potential of being a Champ.

Jan. 17 - Miami vs LA folks, can't wait for this one..

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missed the game. had a choice yesterday between Miami vs Washington or Washington vs Seattle? LOL no brainer. it was sad to see RGIII go down like that.

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missed the game. had a choice yesterday between Miami vs Washington or Washington vs Seattle? LOL no brainer. it was sad to see RGIII go down like that.

Did you have a good view from the bandwagon?

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