MIAMI — Injuries and suspensions have put an interesting starting lineup on the floor for the Wizards in the opener against the Miami Heat.
The Wizards will start John Wall, Garrett Temple, Paul Pierce, Drew Gooden III and Marcin Gortat against the Heat.
The Heat counter with Norris Cole, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Shawne Williams and Chris Bosh.
Bradley Beal (wrist) and Martell Webster (back) are out for the Wizards, as are Nene and DeJuan Blair because of one-game suspensions.
Temple is a defense-first guard the coach Randy Wittman trusts.
“I have great confidence in him,” Wittman said. “I could not play him the whole game, then put him in the last five seconds to defend. He’s very versatile. Can guard multiple positions. He’s been with us and understands.”
Gooden will give the Wizards some spacing. He’s also a natural counter to Williams, who is more of a stretch four than a power forward.
One good matchup: veterans Pierce and Deng. Combined, they have played 26 seasons in the league.