NBA

Reaction to Wizards vs Heat

Jacari McRae | January 5th, 2019

Here are my thoughts on the Miami Heat‘s 115-109 victory over the Washington Wizards:

Back above .500

For the first time since an October 27th win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Heat now have a winning record. After defeating the Wizards, the Heat improved to 19-18, their first time above .500 since standing at 3-2. It certainly is not the end goal, but for a team that started 7-13 in its first 20 games, it’s a good start.

The Heat remains alone in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of the seventh-place Charlotte Hornets.

Waiters Island closed

Two nights after making his season debut, Dion Waiters spent this game as a spectator, with Dwyane Wade returning to the rotation after missing Wednesday’s game due to illness.

Wade and Tyler Johnson were the first two guards off the bench. Derrick Jones Jr., Bam Adebayo, and Kelly Olynyk later followed. Despite having a deep roster, coach Erik Spoelstra has been reluctant to play more than 10 players. Waiters likely will not be content to staying on the bench and only filling in for injuries. And that doesn’t even factor when Goran Dragic returns from his knee procedure after the All-Star break.
Before the February 7th NBA trade deadline, Miami is going to have to make some moves to trim the roster.

Whiteside dominates

Hassan Whiteside dominated the middle on Friday night, with 15 points and nine rebounds in the first half. He got Washington starting center Thomas Bryant and backup center Ian Mahinmi in early foul trouble, forcing the Wizards to turn to Jeff Green at the center spot. Most importantly, Whiteside is slowly improving on his free throws after going through a tough 5 for 36 stretch from the charity stripe.

Tonight, the Heat center shot 3-of-5 from the charity stripe. He finished the night with 21 points and 18 rebounds.

Efficient night for Justise Winslow

The Heat’s starting point guard finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go with a career-high 10 assists and just one turnover.

Justise Winslow continues to give very solid minutes at the point. He’s showing the ability to create off the dribble for others and himself. Having Winslow at the point also gives the Heat versatility on the defensive end.

The Heat will travel to Georgia to face the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. The game tips off at 6pm ET.

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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