The Miami Heat are gearing up for the potential two-month long postseason and the hopes of a second straight NBA title. After Wednesday night, the Washington Wizards are three games away from honing their golf games. With that in mind, the Heat played without their Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
The news probably didn't upset Wizards coach Randy Wittman that much. The paying customers, that's another story.
"They are playing for a little something different then we are right now," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of the Heat's decision. "They've been through it. They know what's smart for their guys."
While Wade (sore right knee) has missed several games and Bosh (flu) the previous two, James played Tuesday night against Milwaukee.
"Right now it's about getting them healthy," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "LeBron has been playing in games and other than that he's been doing mainly treatment. Everybody else has been doing treatment. Dwyane has been able to pick up his workouts the last two days. Chris is sick, so he hasn't been doing anything the last day."
James has been deal with a sore right hamstring, though Spoelstra said it was "not a setback. Want to make sure he feels right. He as a little bit tight yesterday after the game. That was probably to be expected."
Fans inside the Verizon Center booed upon hearing the news that Miami's stars would sit. The debate about whether teams have an obligation to play their best players when possible has been a topic throughout this NBA season.
"You can argue it either way," Wittman said. "I think as a coach you have to do what's best for your team. If it's your fans and you're a paying customer, you want to see them win a championship. Let's put that poll out there. Would you rather see LeBron or would you see Nene or would you rather see John Wall play game number 80 or would you like to see the Wizards win the world championship. See what that poll ends up."
Obviously the Wizards will not playing for crown this year, but arguably there should be some prize for even sniffing the 9th slot in the Eastern Conference considering howe the team began the season.
"I’m proud of these guys. We’ve endured a lot ourselves here. With the injuries to start with a lot of our main guys. Going 4-28 to open up the year and fighting the way we did, tooth and nail, coming up short each night. It paid off for us once we got healthy. Our guys were more confident playing at the end of games. They never lost their determination, so if you were to ask me at 4-28 that we’d be at 30 sitting here today, I’d probably think you’re crazy...
"So, I think it’s important for us to try to finish that way. because you don’t have any control over injuries, but we’ve shown what we can do when healthy and I think the majority of our players that we’ve started, we had 21 games together, not a very large sampling of what it could’ve been that’s encouraging to me, seeing what this team can do and the heart that they fought."