Wizards Pregame: Physicality and Connectivity Needed to Beat Heat

To get back in the win column Washington Wizards coach Brian Keefe wants to see growth in two specific areas against the Miami Heat.


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Wizards had their first winning streak of the season snapped on Wednesday in a 125-109 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and tonight will turn their attention to the visiting Miami Heat to try and get another one started.


To do so Wizards interim head coach Brian Keefe says the team will need to get more physical and play a more connected brand of basketball.


Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) dribbles the basketball as Washington Wizards guard Bilal Coulibaly (0) defends during the fourth quarter at Kaseya Center.


“We’re growing in that regard,” Keefe said about the physicality Washington has shown since he took over for Wes Unseld Jr. at the end of January. “But we have to get better. Rebounding has always been a little bit of an issue but we’ve been a little bit better with that lately. That’s something we are definitely focusing on is bringing our physicality to the defensive game.”


The Wizards are grabbing a league-low 40.5 rebounds per game this season but have risen their day-to-day total to 43.8 per game ranking 15th in the NBA over that stretch.


Part of the reason for the improvement is that physicality Keefe said has improved but needs to continue growing, paired with a developing sense of connected development.


“I think we’ve shown some better individual development through the year,” Keefe says. “But we’re really focused on having the group connect with each other and play well on both ends of the floor.”


Washington will need to get production from both of those areas in order to steal a home win against the Heat who obviously rank higher in grabbing rebounds but are in the bottom ten of the league in assists while relying on individual performances more than team efforts at times.

Gideon Canice

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