The difference between the Wizards' two games in Miami? Effort and energy

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Mike DePrisco
·3 min read
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The difference between the Wizards' two games in Miami? Effort and energy originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

It's hard to beat a team twice in a row in the NBA and it's a trend that rang true Friday night when the Heat crushed the Wizards 122-95 two nights after falling to Washington on their home floor. 

Sure, it was the rare night Bradley Beal couldn't make a shot and the Heat were playing with a ton of purpose at 7-14, but for the Wizards, the major difference between the two games was energy and effort. 

"It was just a lack of energy," Beal said after the loss. "We didn't come out with the same drive that we had last game. Everybody was on the same page, attentive to details, knew personnel. And then tonight, the offensive end was stagnant, not a lot of passing or moving the ball. So it was kind of the complete opposite from the other night."

Beal had a particularly bad night shooting the ball. He only had seven points, his lowest mark since 2018 and missed his first 13 shots. In going 0-for-12 from the field in the first half, he became just the second player to take that many shots without a make in one half since 1996.

If Beal has a normal shooting night and drops his usual 30, this would've been a closer game for sure, but the Wizards can't lean on an exceptional performance from him just to keep it close. 

"I put a lot on my shoulders for not doing a damn thing tonight on the offensive end, but we don't lose games offensively," Beal said. "We can't guard, we've given 3-point shooters open shots, we let them come out and be very energetic from the get-go."

Scott Brooks echoed the same sentiment after the game. He wanted his team to come in ready for a fight after beating Miami on Wednesday. After giving up 40 points in the first quarter, though, he had a feeling it was going to be a long night. 

"They were physical, they were dictating the game on both ends, [our] physicality wasn't there at the start of the game," Brooks said. "If you don't do that after you just beat a team, this is what the result's gonna be. We didn't come out with the right frame of mind to beat a team that's fighting for their lives as well."

You could tell they came out like a team that just got beat the night before by the same team," Brooks said. "We knew that obviously, but we didn't come in with that mindset that 'this is gonna be a fight,' and we didn't step up to that challenge to join the fight in that first quarter." 

All the Wizards can do at this point is put this one behind them and just move on to the next one. Luckily for them, their schedule is absolutely packed in February and they'll have another game Sunday afternoon against Charlotte. 

Tune into NBC Sports Washington at 12 p.m. Sunday for full coverage of the Wizards' next game against the Hornets.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Washington
+230+6.5O 237.5
Denver
-295-6.5U 237.5