The Heat is on

The Heat is on
February 10, 2012, 2:02 pm
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Wizards head coach Randy Wittman has no plans to change his starting lineup, but history against the Miami Heat probably makes it tempting. Last March Jordan Crawford and Maurice Evans started for the Wizards and they combined for 60 points in a 123-107 loss to the Heat.

After trying to serve as the back-up to both guard positions at the start of the season, Crawford has settled into his role as the first choice substitute for Nick Young. In that March game against the Heat, Crawford poured in a career-high 39 points. In Wednesdays loss to the Knicks Crawford was only 2 of 10 from the field, but had 3 assists.

I thought Jordan did a great job of continuing to try and find other people, noted Wittman. In the second half (against the Knicks) he had three good assists, even though he was struggling to make shots.

Wittman was pleased that Crawford stayed competitive, despite his poor shooting. To play through frustration is something Wittman is stressing with the Wizards. Wittman discussed it with Nick Young, after Young seemed to lose focus following a missed breakaway dunk in the game against the Knicks.

There will be no time against the Heat to lose confidence and then try to regroup. Crawford and Young will need to provide offensive support to John Wall, who is growing in confidence and consistency. In addition the Wizards could use someone like Evans, who scored 21 points last March against the Heat, to make a significant contribution.

They have three capable scorers that can take over a game at any time, Evans said. When you have two perimeters such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, it will be another pick your poison type of moment. You want to stop the ball, but to do that you will have to commit other defenders and leave offensive guys open for a moment.

The Heat had won 11 of 14 games before its three-game winning streak was stopped in a 102-89 loss to the Orlando Magic. With 17 three-pointers and a good rebounding night, the Magic were able to pull away from the Heat.

Its not a formula the Wizards should try to copy. To be sure they need to rebound against the Heat, but on offense the Wizards need to show patience and not settle for three-point field goals.

With Rashard Lewis still battling a sore right knee, Chris Singleton will likely start a third consecutive game. The strength of Singletons game is defense and he will need to his intelligence and skill to compete against James. Singleton has done well against some of the NBAs best players with a simple approach that centers on preparation.

It is about watching film, Singleton said Every player has spots they like and you just try to limit those touches in those spots.