(Sports Network) - It may look like a mismatch on paper, but that's why they
play the games.
The defending champion Miami Heat, owners of the best record in the Eastern
Conference and winners of six straight, head to Washington Tuesday to take on
a Wizards team that has the worst record in the NBA.
The Heat played their last four in Miami and, after this quick stop in the
nation's capital, are at home for another six in a row. They have matched the
franchise's best start and a win on Tuesday night would give them the best 16-
game start in team history.
The calendar change to December benefits the Heat. Since the 2010-11 season,
the Heat are 20-1 in the month of December, including a perfect 13-0 mark on
And, if the Heat needed any more honors, they now boast this year's Sports
Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. LeBron James earned the award based on his
remarkable year that saw him win his first NBA Championship, first Finals MVP,
third regular-season MVP award and second Olympic gold medal.
James became the first basketball player to receive the honor since his
teammate Dwyane Wade in 2006.
"I think it's awesome," said James. "D-Wade is one of the all-time greats as
well. I'm happy to say I've done something that my friend has done. We can
share some great conversations when it's all said and done."
The last time out for the Heat, Wade produced a season-high 34 points and
James added 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Heat beat the
Brooklyn Nets, 102-89.
As for the Wizards, no one received any national honors on Monday and the team
will try to get back on some type of winning streak. After their maiden
victory this season on Wednesday at home against the Portland Trail Blazers,
the Wiz fell at New York, 108-87 to the Knicks.
The Wizards have struggled offensively. They are last in the NBA in scoring,
last in the NBA in field-goal percentage, and second-to-last in 3-point
Defensively, Washington is in the middle of the pack in most categories.
It's a huge challenge for this out-manned Wizards team to compete with the
"It's a task at hand. We're going to have to play well," said Wizards coach
Randy Wittman. "We're going to have to shoot the ball well, we're going to
have to have low turnovers and we're going to have to rebound the ball.
"If we can do those things, we can play with these guys. If we don't, it's
going to be difficult, no two ways about it. That's what it boils down to. We
know what's at hand."
The Wizards actually took two of three last season from the Heat, including a
road victory on April 21 of this year. But, Miami is 12-3 in its last 15
The Sports Network