On Monday night, the Washington Wizards tried to prove to the NBA that the team will be playoff contenders this postseason. Ultimately, Washington fell to the Miami Heat 99-90. It was a hard fought game, and at the end of the second half, the Wizards hurt their own cause.
Against the Heat, Washington proved that the team still needs to improve their play down the stretch of games. This is particularly important if the Wizards want to make some playoff noise. A poor second-half performance led to the Heat outscoring the Wizards 26-17 in the fourth quarter.
Washington’s second-half performances have been their Achilles’ heel all season long. Without a doubt, this was a game Washington could have won if not for their poor fourth-quarter performance.
The Wizards need to improve how they play down the stretch. Washington’s offense has come in sparks, and the team needs to improve its offensive consistency. Drew Gooden gave the Wizards the lead 84-83 in the middle of the fourth quarter. After that, the Wizards went on a three-minute scoreless streak that ultimately cost them the game.
As a team, Washington needs to play better. Washington is only 33-30 because the team has been relying on individuals rather than consistent team performances.Unfortunately, this was not the first time that the Wizards were not able to perform in the second half. Washington must be able to turn around how the team plays in the late parts of games if the Wizards want to make some playoff noise and earn home-court advantage.