The Miami Heat achieved a new record Wednesday in a 115-78 victory over the hapless Chicago Bulls. The 37 point blowout gave Miami a new franchise high, and the deficit gave Chicago a new franchise low. Can the Bulls bounce back tonight at home? Just ask the 2007-08 Washington Wizards.
The Wizards haven’t been in the NBA Playoffs since 2008, but they left their mark despite a 2-4 first round exit in a series loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs took Game 2 in a 116-86 victory, a 30-point margin, yet the Wizards–who were 0-2 in the series at that point–took Game 3 in a triumphant 108-72 blowout, a 36 point difference and a 66 point swing.
Can the Bulls stop James and the Heat tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)? Unlikely. The Bulls will not have Derrick Rose, Luol Deng (spinal tap–yep), or former Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich (calf). Even in 2008, before James recorded his first of four season MVP titles, the rising star ended up with 22 points on 10-for-19 shooting. He did only dish 3 assists compared to his 12 assists the game prior, which could be a point of emphasis for the Bulls. With the Heat, however, James does not have to be the facilitator, which was the whole point of The Decision in 2010.
Getting the best of Washington rival LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, in what ended up being Washington’s best blowout in their franchise history, proved to be a high point for the Wizards franchise. Their low point? A 43-point loss to the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons. Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, Isiah Thomas, Rick Mahorn. It happens.
The 1987, 128-85 Game 2 loss was Washington’s worst since just a year prior in a 25-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers (134-109). Before that? A 24-point loss in 1965 to the St. Louis Hawks (129-105), which was followed by a 32-point win (131-99). Yep, even when they were the Baltimore Bullets they were so Wizards.
Off the Bench
Former Wizards forward Andray Blatche is currently one of seven candidates on the Brooklyn Nets homepage for “favorite player to watch.” Just scroll down a little if needed to see the “Nets Poll.”