Wake-up call: Wizards anticipate 'road' atmosphere

Wake-up call: Wizards anticipate 'road' atmosphere
January 15, 2014, 6:00 am
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Heat visit the White House before facing the Wiz

Playing at home vs. the Miami Heat should end up being a good thing for the Wizards but for the wrong reasons. When they play high-profile teams at Verizon Center, it tends to feel like a road game. This happens when the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are in town, too.

On the road, however, is where the Wizards have found their greatest success by winning seven of their last eight games there. The Wizards (17-19) have lost seven of eight at home, and haven't won here in 2014. 

"It's going to be amazing. They're going to have their Heat fans with their jerseys cheering for them. We're going to have our great side of fans here," said Wizards point guard John Wall. "I think it will help. At times it feels like a home game, especially if it's late and like two or three minutes left. The crowd really gets into it and will be on our side. Throughout the game it is going to be back and forth. Hopefully it makes us feel like we're on a road game so we can go out here and get a win because we need a signature win like that to go on our resume."

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Bradley Beal took exception to all of the Knicks fans who showed up for a Nov. 23 game here, rolling his eyes to express amazement about the chants he heard with the game on the line in the fourth quarter. But he seems OK with it now given how the Wizards have responded to playing in front of the opponents' fans.

"Maybe," he said about a pro-Heat atmosphere helping the Wizards on Wednesday. "We have to come in here with the same mentality as we had in Chicago, and come out with energy, playing hard and sticking to our gameplan.

"Whenever you're playing against the Heat, the defending champs, an elite team in the NBA, you always feel as though there's a chip on your shoulder. I'm pretty sure we're going to feel the same."

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