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Wizards beat Heat because they care while Heat don’t (about defense)

Dec 4, 2012, 10:44 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards Getty Images

Miami has been coasting this season and it shows on defense. Yes they were 12-3, but they had the 19th ranked defense in the NBA on points per possession (via Hoopdata).

They play a style based on aggression, on using their athleticism and length to pressure you into mistakes. If you play that going half-speed, NBA players will make you pay for it.

The Washington Wizards have NBA players on the roster. It may not have looked like it at points this season, but they did.

And they made a coasting Heat pay with a 105-101 win. The Wizards put up 105 points on the Heat. Ouch.

Washington came into this game saying they could win, I had some fun with that. Well done Washington. I’ll take my helping of crow.

What Washington did that Miami didn’t is give a… I mean care about this game. Although my first thought better describes Miami’s defensive effort on the night against by far the worst offense in the NBA coming into the game. A Wizards team without John Wall still and only playing Nene limited minutes.

But Jordan Crawford came off the bench with 22. Kevin Seraphin had 16, A.J. Price had 16. Those are NBA guys who can score if you give them space and credit the Wiz because they played hard and played their system. But those are not guys who put up those numbers against a focused Heat team. However, Miami didn’t rotate with any urgency all night long, they didn’t help the helper. If the helper even showed up. They try to pressure and show out on picks, but when they didn’t rotate the Wizards were always one or two passes away from an open look.

That’s why the Wizards shot 58 percent in the first half.

LeBron put up a triple-double — 26 points but on 24 shots, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. But late in the game he missed two key free throws and two threes in the final three minutes and that cost the Heat.

Dwyane Wade had 24, Chris Bosh had an efficient 20 on 11 shots.

There were flashes of the Heat — an 8-0 run late in the first half for one. But give the scrappy Wizards credit, they answered the runs. They wanted this one… for their second win of the season.

When a team comes in 12-3 off winning a championship it’s hard for the coach to get their attention, to get them work on the process and take the steps to repeat. This should help Erik Spoelstra get his players attention. This was a sloppy loss for Miami.

And for the Wizards have maybe the best win they will get all season.

  1. jhuck92 - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    and here’s kurt trying to cover his ass. maybe if the wizards rested their starters the heat would have had this one.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Sure, Kurt.

  3. samonelastains - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Wizards come back from last place to win the Championship anyone? Yea right….putting the joint down now.

    • seannymo - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      don’t put it down…pass that!!

  4. bucrightoff - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    David Stern will fine the Wizards for embarassing his precious Heat.

  5. doublezero74 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Helin needs counseling because his precious heatles lost to the lowly wizards. Enough bad losses can’t happen to that club

    • bozosforall - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:05 AM

      Kurt is from LA, idiot Boston crybaby.

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Have fun guys.

    • cantonbound13 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:27 AM

      There are some nice tall buildings in Miami, maybe you can take your fellow bandwagon fans with you.

  7. waiting4asuperbowl - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Kurt, eat crow my man, eat it good.

  8. oldcat157 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Whooooooooo!! I don’t want to imagine how many folks lost in Vegas. Cha-Ching for the house.

  9. Louis Tumblin - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Regular season means nothing. When the playoffs starts no one will remember this loss.

  10. packfaninvikeland - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    How much of Heat fan is this guy? JW..

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      ….He’s actually a Lakers fan, which makes it funny reading the comments.

      Fun fact – Prior to taking a job at ProBasketball Talk, Kurt Helin founded a major Lakers fanblog in Forum Blue & Gold 2004.

      Source: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/5838/meet-your-blogger-kurt-helin-of-forum-blue-and-gold

      • eventhorizon04 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:15 AM

        *founded a major Lakers fanblog, Forum Blue & Gold, in 2004.

      • cantonbound13 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        He’s a well know LeBron groupie.

      • packfaninvikeland - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:12 PM

        I get that and not trolling or anything. However just because he is a Laker fan doesn’t mean he isnt a Heat Fan either. There is no rivalry there. I take some of his post as a little bias to the Heat..just an opinion obviously.

      • packfaninvikeland - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:16 PM

        Not that laughing off a one win team beating the current NBA champions is a stretch at all either.. lol

  11. eventhorizon04 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    The Heat are a good team, but they aren’t good enough to consistently win while only playing defense for 1 half. The Heat have consistently done very poorly on defense in first-halves this season, only to “suddenly” approach last year’s defensive numbers in the second half whenever the Heat happen to be down. Hmm….

    In this game, for example, Wizards scored 60 points in the first half (shooting 58%), but only scored 45 points in the second half.

    Wizards gave great effort for the whole game and earned a quality win. Kudos to them.

  12. astrosfan75956 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Lebron choked this game away.

  13. cantonbound13 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    You’re pathetic Kurt. The Heat list because LeBron can’t come up huge in clutch moments. Ray Allen has bailed them out all year with clutch shots in close games. LeBron tried to do it and once again failed miserably. Why don’t you “focus” on that aspect a little more. Let’s face it, all superstars have their signature big shots to win a game, Jordan over Ehlo, Jordan over Russel, Magic’s sky hook…. What’s LeBron’s? Exactly!

  14. rickyspanish - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    cantonbound13

    You lie and yo breath stank.

    • cantonbound13 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      what am I lying about keyboard tough guy?

  15. bengzki - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Its funny how LBJ got 2 points easily with 10 seconds remaining and they keep on shooting jumpshots with a minute left and only down by 2.

    Poor guy, a triple double but still criticized, cruel world.

    Wizards are just more eager to win, its as simple as that.

  16. dko83 - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    That picture up there of those four guys.. That’s about 100 times more talent than the Wizards put on the floor tonight. Heat should be REALLY embarrassed.

  17. davidly - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Honorable admitting the crow the way you did, Kurt: while pointing out that all the players in this league are in a class above what too many give them credit for.

    As I read your post yesterday, I couldn’t help thinking that you were setting yourself up for this. I mean, the post itself almost sounded like it came from one of your readers.

  18. jtchernak - Dec 5, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    With Kurt if the heat win then they are showing their toughness and there championship team but when they lose they just don’t care and took the day off c’mon with the bs

  19. fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    oh my god the Heat lose………………..
    I guess anyone can lose a game, just like the Lakers. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  20. gmsingh - Dec 5, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    None of this is fair to the Heat–David Stern should let them opt of the regular season entirely and just go straight to the playoffs.

  21. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Hey Kurt. Do me a favor and write an article on Thursday about how the Heat have no chance against the Knicks. Thanks bro.

  22. shaner329 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/03/is-miami-finding-its-defensive-footing-if-so-watch-out/#

    I think it’s safe to say that they did not find their defensive footing.

  23. airjunior23 - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Stern should fine the HEAT 250 million for this ish!

  24. lucky5936 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    I love it when Lebron and the Heat fail! Even then who would have thought it would be againstmthe worst team in basketball.

  25. rickyspanish - Dec 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    cantonbound13

    What about that three LeBo hit against the Magic in the playoffs when he was with Cleveland? I’m not being a tough guy, silly pants. I’m just tired of your nonsense.

    • rtfinch - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:32 AM

      Didn’t they lose that series?

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