After dropping their first home game of the season to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers on November 1st, the Washington Wizards will try to avenge their loss at the City of Brotherly Love tonight at 7:00 PM. Wizards vs. 76ers tickets are still available.
Key Match Up:
Despite the small sample size, Michael Carter-Williams has taken the league by storm, becoming just the second NBA rookie every to win Eastern Conference Player of the Week. The Sixers have undoubtedly exceeded expectations right out of the gate, but they certainly fell back down to earth after their blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors. Carter-Williams is playing on an extremely high level right now, and I don’t expect that to carry on throughout the course of the entire season. In their last match up, John Wall got the best of the rookie out of Syracuse, but the Wizards just couldn’t close the game out. Washington had led by double-digits, but their inability to protect the basket cost them the game.
John Wall’s aggressiveness faltered after the first half, probably because of his back spasms, so I’d definitely expect a different result tonight. The Wizards will go as John Wall goes, and he has to find a way to will his team to victory. His back issue may have prevented him from doing so during their prior match up, but now that he hasn’t experienced any pain since then, there is no reason the Wizards shouldn’t pick up their first win of the season tonight in Philly.
- Nene didn’t play against the Sixers due to a sore calf, but he practiced on Wednesday and should be good to go for tonight’s game.
- Philadelphia scored 74 points in the paint against Washington without a real post presence. That’s unacceptable.
- The Sixers shot over 51% for their first three games of the season. They shot just over 30% against the Warriors.
If any game could be categorized as a “must win”, it would be the one tonight.
The Wizards have to find a way to pull out a win against a team projected to be a basement dweller. John Wall and Co. have much more talent than the Sixers, but they have to translate it on the floor, particularly on the defensive end. They’ve allowed each of their three opponents thus far to shoot 50+% from the floor, and that has to change, especially if the Wizards are serious about making the post season. They have the advantage over Philadelphia in virtually every aspect of the game, but I’m a firm believer that their success will come from the front court. Marcin Gortat and Nene have never played a second together, but that shouldn’t stop them from dominating the Sixers’ lowly big men. It also wouldn’t hurt to get some consistent perimeter shooting.
With that said, I think we’ll see a very motivated Wizards team in Philadelphia tonight. Looking at their schedule, wins could be scarce over the next couple weeks and they need all the ‘W’s’ they could get. Washington will dominate the Sixers in Philly tonight.