The year was 2003, Doug Collins was the Wizards Head Coach and there was another Jordan on the bench, his name was Micheal. Well tonight it was another Jordam, Eddie to be exact that led the Wizards to their first victory over the Miami Heat in three years.
So do we put an asteric next to the victory and say it came without Shaq or Dwyane Wade? Not according to the Wizards best player Gilbert Arenas, who didn’t care who was on the floor tonight , it still was a victory.
“Finally,” Arenas said. “We’ll take it, no matter who’s out there on the floor. We finally got the little monkey off our back.”
For the first time in a couple of weeks it was another player besides Arenas that picked up the scoring load in Caron Butler. He had his best game so far this season with 30 points and continued to show what a valuable asset he is to the team in the starting rotataton. He also had some of the same feelings about tonight’s victory. Caron was on the other side of the ball when the Wizards beat the Heat last. He to remembers the victory for the Wizards and what it felt like as a rookie.
“Me personally, I got over one, too,” said Butler. “Ever since I’ve been traded, I haven’t beaten those guys, so it felt good to get that monkey off my back.”
While the game was tight in the fourth quarter, it was the first half of tonight’s game that made all of the difference, as the Wizards built a 40-17 lead that was cut to 11 at the half. The absence of Shaq and Wade was felt as there was never a take over presence by the Heat that they have shown in the second half of many games.
The Wizards have won five of six and are 9-3 at home. They improved to 11-11 overall, reaching .500 for the first time since mid-November, when they were 3-3. Now they’re off on a four-game West Coast trip that starts Sunday with a date with the Lakers. Another match-up for Butler and a former team.