“When you pass the ball up the floor it’s much faster anyway. I showed them a guy dribbling 94 feet and a guy passing it and it’s not close,” Wittman said. “It’s not always going to necessarily equate into a layup, but it equates into quicker offense.”
With John Wall still sidelined with a left knee injury, Price has tried to get the Wizards out on the run but initially was reluctant to make the switch.
“It’s always in my head to get [the ball up the floor]. But the biggest problem I felt like I was having was [getting the ball up the floor then] not necessarily touching it anymore,” Price said. “I think the coaching staff noticed that and made a change and the early offense was the difference.”
The Wizards scored 30 points in each of the first two periods against Miami after scoring at least 30 points three times in their previous 56 quarters. They also tied their season-high with 48.1 percent shooting and beat Miami in fast-break points, 16-6.
“We don’t want to play half-court. We love to play fast,” Bradley Beal said. “Throughout the whole week of practice, that’s literally all we’ve been doing. Passing the ball up the court. Moving the ball. Making sure everyone basically touches it. When you do that, it gets the defense moving and they get tired quick. It’s a great strategy for us.”
The philosophy will have to continue for the Wizards, who didn’t escape the game without at least one casualty, with starting swingman Trevor Ariza going down with a strained left calf and expected to miss considerable time.
“We need to move the ball,” said Livingston, who could see more time at the wing position in Ariza’s absence. “That’s what good teams do, especially when you don’t have any superstar caliber players. I think it’s even more important.”
As for his practice shut-down dunk, Livingston laughed and said: “Every now and then, an old dog pulls some tricks out the bag. Back in my young days, I had a little bounce. You’ve got to pace it now because the recoveries take longer now.”
Hangovers after big wins apparently do, too.