Of course it had to happen this way.
Without John Wall (injury), without Gilbert Arenas (traded), the Wizards used the energy of Josh Howard and the hot shooting of Nick Young to push the Heat to the very brink. The Heat seemed to have very little interest in taking this game. It seemed too difficult on a back-to-back, too much effort against an amped team. Washington would have to very much just give them the game.
You know how this joke ends, don’t you?
Nick Young turned the ball over on an inbounds up two, and then fouled James Jones in the same sequence, to allow the Heat to tie the game. A missed free throw by Kirk Hinrich put the Wizards up one. Then Dwyane Wade drove to the rack, and did what he does, draw contact. Two made free throws later, the Heat escape and the Wizards suffer a heartbreaker.
Any number of things could have changed the outcome of this game. Most specifically if Nick Young, who had quite an emotional day, had either simply secured the ball, or hadn’t fouled Jones, it would have been all’s well that ends well. But he didn’t, and he did, and if you give the Heat that kind of opportunity? They’ll take it just like that.
It should have been a sweeter night, with Andre Blatche dropping 20 and 12, Young scoring 30 in his first game in Gil’s place, and the team running out to 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter to make it an eight point lead.
But that’s just not how it’s gone for the Wizards this decade. Gilbert Arenas is gone. The song remains the same.