Heat (40-36) at Wizards (18-59), Arenas Out
Wizards starters: Javaris Crittenton, Dominic McGuire, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood.
Heat: Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Jermaine O'Neal, Jamario Moon, Yakhouba Diawara
Refs: Joe DeRosa, Ron Olesiak, Courtney Kirkland
Line: Heat by 1.5.
Gilbert Arenas will not play tonight against Miami, with the team electing to give the three-time all-star some rest. Arenas was listed as a game-time decision, but it was obvious that he wasn't going to play when he walked through the locker room before the game without his headphones and cracking jokes. "We said selected games. The knee is fine," Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott said.
Javaris Crittenton will start in Arenas's place after missing the previous game against Cleveland on Thursday with back spasms. "I gave him 43 minutes against Memphis and it took a lot more out of him than he thought it would," Tapscott joked about Crittenton. "Guys are crying for minutes, all of a sudden, I give them to him and he says, 'My back is sore.' "
One thing to keep an eye on this evening is ball movement. The Wizards have had 27 assists in each of the two games Arenas has played this season. They had a total of 26 assists against Indiana and Memphis without Arenas. "We have a 20-assist threshold. To have any success, we need 20 assists," Tapscott said. "Gil contributes mightily that by himself. Moving the ball is critical for us."
... Before the game, Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said that he was going to start Michael Beasley, but had a change of heart when he submitted his lineup. Yakhouba Diawara will start tonight in place of Udonis Haslem, who suffered a lacerated right thumb in Charlotte on Friday. Miami has lost 12 of its past 16 road games. It's last road win was March 22 in Detroit.
... Beasley, a D.C. native, spoke before the game about playing at home. "It's always good," said Beasley, who scored just six points with two turnovers in his first game against Washington on Nov. 18. "Last game was my first time in the NBA, first time coming home so I was a little hyped but after the first time it's normal. You've got to have a mature sense about it. You can't really play like that every time you come home because I'm going to be coming home a lot."
Beasley has a tattoo of the Washington Nationals' curly W tattooed on his arm. He was asked if he got a chance to get out to the Cherry Blossom Festival. "Man, I hadn't ever heard of that."
... Mike James had successful surgery on his right pinkie Thursday at Sibley Memorial. James had two pins inserted in his hand. The procedure was performed by Dr. Richard Barth and Dr. David Moss.
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