Washington Wizards at Miami Heat game preview

Paola Ditto
Aprile 19, 2017

A win-or-go-home night for three teams in the Eastern Conference, and the Nets were choosing to bring a knife to a gun fight. They surely must be wondering if the Bulls and Nets made some shady deal, or if the National Basketball Association is pulling strings to get the Bulls in the playoffs to improve television ratings. Miami is now tied with the Bulls for the last spot in the East, but losing on a tiebreaker.

The Wizards, in fact, have won three straight against Atlanta including a 104-100 victory just a few weeks ago on March 22. Both the Pacers and Bulls won, leaving the Heat on the outside looking in.

The Bulls should easily win this game, especially given that Brooklyn is not even trying to play their starters. "My job is to prepare my team for tonight".

However, the Bulls still have a big hill to climb with a first-round matchup against the Celtics looming.

Following the decision to rest three key players in a regular-season finale that has no meaning to them but playoff implications for several other teams in the East, the Nets defended their move by citing the need to go into the offseason healthy and to evaluate youngsters. The Nets didn't get that memo.

The Brooklyn Nets were without Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez and four other players on Wednesday's final regular season game against the Chicago Bulls.

Atkinson was quite sketchy in explaining the weird move. "Our perimeter shooting is not where it needs to be". "Really. That's it in a vacuum", he said during his pregame chat with media. At NetsDaily, we'd like to wish her all the best in her future endeavors and thank her for bringing kindness and professionalism to the Nets organization.

"We made a little progress, stuck our finger through the ceiling so to speak, yet we have a long way to go". It's a huge offseason for us. Whether we were playing well, then we were playing bad, whatever the heck was going on, at the end of the day, you want yourself in a position to make the playoffs. "It's a great opportunity for them, a great playoff-type atmosphere".

Lin took a more team-friendly approach toward the decision to not play Wednesday, and the Heat's understandable disappointment with the move. "I don't know about value, or anything like that", Lopez said. "It's kinda in the same vein I'm telling you: how valuable he is to the franchise".

"It's not like I'm resting". I think the hardest thing for any of us to wrap our minds around is that we don't have practice tomorrow at 12. "There's a reason there's 15 men on a roster". Archie Goodwin, Justin Hamilton, Spencer Dinwiddie, K.J. McDaniels, Caris LeVert, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Isaiah Whitehead and Andrew Nicholson got a lot of minutes against the Bulls. "I know exactly what they're thinking".

Hoiberg was asked if this affects the integrity of the game. This was the 19th time in Miami's 29 seasons that the Heat finished with a record of.500 or better, and the first time that wasn't good enough to reach the postseason.

Miami obviously has it all at stake and should get the win, but giving up 11.5 points is quite a bit.

"It'll be interesting to see what the owners do".

The youth movement had its hands full against a playoff-hungry team that ran out to a 27-13 first-quarter lead and never looked back. Goran Dragic is averaging 20.2 points and 5.8 assists per game while Hassan Whiteside is adding 16.9 points and 14.1 rebounds per contest.

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