Game On: Wizards-Heat preview

Game On: Wizards-Heat preview
November 2, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Beal: Wizards 'lackadaisical' in loss to 76ers

Washington desperately needs to get its first win of the season in three tries, but Miami won't be in a giving mood, after losing two of its first three, on Sunday. 

TV: CSN, 6 p.m. ET at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Radio: WFED-AM 1500 and The Fan 106.7 FM

Last game: Lost the home-opener to the Philadelphia 76ers 109-102 as the Wizards gave up 74 points in the paint and 51% shooting. While they pushed the ball better and got 34 fast-break points in getting out to a 14-point lead, it wasn't enough. They relinquished what had been a dominant performance in the fourth quarter. 

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Heat –- PG Mario Chalmers, SG Dwyane Wade, SF LeBron James, PF Udonis Haslem, C Chris Bosh.

Question marks: 1). Where is the top 10 NBA scoring defense from a year ago? Wizards have given up an average of 107.5.  2). Can Wall be effective for four quarters despite a recent issue with back spasms? 3). Where has Beal's jump shot, and confidence, gone? 4). How will they defend James? 5). Will coach Randy Wittman juggle his rotation and possibly play Jan Vesely or Glen Rice, the only two active players who haven't seen any action?

X-factors: If Nene (left calf) is able to play, that could force Gortat back into a revere role. He was slated to come off the bench Friday until Nene was declared out. …  Ariza didn't shoot well in his last game but he still had 14 rebounds, six assists and two steals. He'll be expending himself a lot defending James, so expecting him to carry the load offensively, too, isn't ideal.

Around the bend: The Wizards practiced at Verizon Center on Saturday before leaving for Miami for Sunday's game. They likely will practice Monday and Tuesday to prepare for a rematch with the Sixers on the road Wednesday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).