Drama of the magnitude seen on Saturday at Verizon Center does not often happen when the Wizards are involved.
First, Gilbert Arenas, the enigmatic scorer and chaotic former face of the franchise (hello John Wall) gets traded to Orlando. Then the feel-good story of beating LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Heat after the histrionics of the afternoon gets snapped away in the final seconds as Washington blows a five-point lead with 18.4 seconds left to lose to Miami 95-94.
What it boils down to is that the young Wizards really have no idea how to close out a game.
And the Heat do.
“Get down the stretch and we did just about everything that you have to do wrong to lose a game and they did everything right,” head coach Flip Saunders said.
That just about sums it up.
Washington was in tenuous control over Miami for much of the game. The game was a see-saw that the Heat were never able to quite balance in their favor until the final seconds. The Wizards would go up by six or eight only to have Miami climb back to tie it before Washington would do it again. It looked like Washington had finally gotten the better of the Heat in the fourth period, jumping out to an 80-72 lead, a margin they would hold more or less until the final two minutes or so.
Then, as it so often is in the NBA, the drama started.