“Surprising. A full windmill, not a chinmill. In New York, we say chinmill,” point guard A.J. Price said with a laugh, while miming a player keeping the ball close to his chin during the windup.
“Yeah, I haven’t seen that in a while,” Wittman said with a laugh. “We shut it down, end it on a good note. They’re feeling good and they should.”
If the win against Portland was mostly about survival — with the Wizards stumbling through the final minutes before running out of time to blow it — the stunning 105-101 win over Miami was about a revival of the confidence that has been absent in the final minutes of most close games. The Wizards are now 2-8 in games decided by seven points or less.
After the Heat whittled the Wizards’ 12-point lead to just two with nine minutes remaining, the unlikely trio of Kevin Seraphin, Jordan Crawford and Martell Webster outscored LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, 18-14, the rest of the way. The Wizards secured their third consecutive victory over the Heat, with the latest one counting most since Miami actually played its stars after resting them in two meetings last April.
Crawford had team highs with 22 points and added six assists, and continued to stand out while sharing the floor with James. He scored a career-high 39 points against Miami as a rookie and became somewhat of an urban legend in college when he dunked over James and the video reportedly was confiscated before his junior year at Xavier. On Tuesday, he taunted James by walking by and clapping as James lined up to shoot free throws in the final two minutes and now has a win that the Wizards (2-13) hope will lift them out of the basement.
“It won’t exactly turn it around if we don’t continue to work, but it shows that we can beat the best teams,” Crawford said. “As long as we keep working, as long as everybody keep on coming, being positive. We can do a lot of good things.”
The Wizards have struggled generating offense this season, with the team ranking at or near the bottom in scoring, field goal percentage and possessions per game.
But Wittman tweaked the offense to encourage his point guards to push the ball out to the wings and attempt to get up a shot before the Heat had a chance to get settled on defense. Washington also moved the ball better than at any other point this season, getting a season-high 31 assists on 38 field goals, after finally heeding Wittman’s complaints about players dribbling too much.