Wizards Player of the Game
Co-players of the game are Martell Webster and Chris Singleton, who are both working hard to make Trevor Ariza irrelevant. Singleton filled the stat sheet by adding 7 boards and 3 steals to go along with his 17 points on 7/11 shooting. He struggled with his shot last season but has shown a much improved shooting stroke thus far this preseason. Webster put in a game high 23 points off the bench and is on his way to becoming a fan favorite with his high energy play and efficient outside shooting. Fans are now clamoring for him to get the starting job and have to love the new meritocracy put in place by Coach Wittman: If you play well, the court is yours and if you stink up the joint, there’s the bench.
The Big Three for the Heat came out on fire, scoring the the Heat’s first 32 points. The Wizards were down 12-1 before they could even blink. In the first half the Heat looked as good as advertised, like.. they’re the defending champions or something. Then the second half came and the Wizards finally showed up to play. After watching the starters struggle, Wittman gave the bench big minutes in the second half and they stepped up to the plate. While the millions of Heat fans will tell you, “it was only the preseason” and “Lebron didn’t even play in the 4th”, remind them that WE still won and Lebron AND Wade played in the third quarter where the Wizards outscored them 26-17.
The bench, aka "The Bailout Squad", which seems to be a reoccurring theme throughout this preseason. The entire bench came out and everybody contributed in some way, 23 points for Webster, 17 for Singleton, 11 for Pargo, and 11 rebounds for Vesely. Another good observation from last night was the improved defensive rotations by the Wizards and the overall feistiness on that end.
I don’t want to poison the well before the season starts...BUT Trevor Ariza has looked terrible this preseason and last night was no different. From an attitude of indifference to boneheaded plays, he just seems to be checked out before the season has gotten underway. Also, the rookie Bradley Beal had a tough night matched up on Dwayne Wade but it’ll take some time for him to get used to playing against shooting guards on the NBA level. Let’s chalk it up to growing pains.
The 1st quarter was the kind of ugly only a mother can love. I’m talking Popeye Jones ugly. There were turnovers galore, bad shots aplenty, throw in a couple of bad passes and it looked like the beginning of last year all over again. I watched the game and have no clue how the Wizards ended the quarter only down 6.
Oh, by the way...
I was livid at ESPN’s coverage of the game on Sportscenter. They showed a highlight of Lebron “alley-oop” which doesn't count if you don't grab the rim, a Dwayne Wade layup, a Chris Bosh 18 footer, and a Ray Allen three point shot....all leading to a closing statement of: “...and the Wizards won”. SHAME ON THE MOTHERSHIP.