It’s still a little stunning to see the score: Washington Wizards 105, Miami Heat 101.
Sure, it’s an early season NBA game, which gives it about as much weight at Kate Moss, but still this is the kind of win the Heat should get easily. They didn’t. And you totally get why Wizards coach Randy Wittman was telling his guys it was a statement game — he wants them to believe. He wants to build on this into their season sucking less.
Was there a lesson in this for the Heat? Not if you ask LeBron James, as CSNWashington.com did.
“This isn’t a lesson for us; it’s just a loss. That’s all it is. We’ve seen and been through everything, so we don’t need a loss to teach us a lesson to do better.”
Maybe the lesson, LeBron, is not to go out clubbing late night before a game.
If not a lesson — implying you don’t know what to do — then how about a reminder, suggesting you should do what you know how to do?
Miami won a title last year because of their defense, which gave up 100.2 points per 100 possessions and was fourth best in the NBA. This season they are giving up 107, 22nd in the Association.
Miami plays an aggressive, gambling style of defense designed to use their superior athleticism to challenge your passes, your drives — they attack you before you can attack them. But this year the Heat are playing at three-quarter speed and reacting rather than forcing other teams to react. Do that with their style of defense and NBA players are going to put up points — and yes, the Wizards still have NBA players on their roster.
So call it whatever you want LeBron, there is something to be taken from this game for the Heat. This loss doesn’t matter, but the consistent lack of effort, the lack of building good habits through the season that will be tested in the playoffs, does.