Jan 20, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) dribbles as Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) defends during the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Wizards at 76ers: Game Time, Key Match Up, Notes, and Prediction

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After beating the Toronto Raptors in one of the most exciting games of the season in triple overtime, the Washington Wizards will have a chance to continue building on their five game winning streak against the lowly Philadelphia 76ers tonight on the road. The game will tip off at 7:30 PM from the Wells Fargo Center. It’s also scheduled to be broadcasted on national TV (NBA TV), since former Sixer, Allen Iverson, is getting his jersey retired tonight.

Key Match Up:

With Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes becoming victims to the trade deadline, Michael Carter-Williams is one of the last players remaining on the 76ers roster that’s likely going to stay there for the long haul. He’s only gotten help from Thaddeus Young, but that obviously hasn’t been enough to win games. The Sixers are trying to avoid their 12th straight home loss (via ESPN), and I’m sure Carter-Williams is up for the challenge. Averaging over 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists per game, Carter-Williams has been the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award this season.

With that said, the Wizards are trying to win their sixth straight game, putting them three games above .500, and John Wall understands that tonight’s match up is a ‘must win’ for his team. Wall has definitely stepped up in Nene’s absence, contributing a bit more in every facet of the game to make up for his production, and tonight should be no different. Wall has to keep Carter-Williams out of the lane and force him to take perimeter shots. Carter-Williams is a bit streaky from the perimeter, but I’m sure Wall and Co. will live with any shot he knocks down from the outside. His teammates aren’t great at creating their own offense, and if Wall keeps him out of the painted area, it’ll make it tough for Carter-Williams to get easy baskets for his teammates. Both John Wall and Bradley Beal were huge fans of Allen Iverson growing up (Bradley Beal wears no.3 in honor of Iverson), so they should be excited for tonight’s game.

Notes:

  • The Sixers have the second worst defensive rating in the NBA, just slightly above the Utah Jazz, but they do have the worst offensive rating. They’re pretty bad.
  • Philadelphia is 11th in rebounding, but the Wizards have done a good job at controlling the boards since Nene went down to injury. Trevor Booker, Chris Singleton, and even the guards have stepped up and rebounded the ball.
  • Drew Gooden didn’t get any playing time in the triple overtime game against Toronto, but I think he’ll get some time tonight, considering that Marcin Gortat played a ridiculous amount of minutes on Thursday.

Prediction:

I think tonight’s game could be considered a “trap game” for the Wizards. The 76ers have traded away 2 of their top 3 scorers on the roster and they don’t have much depth on the team. In fact, they might have the worst roster in NBA history in terms of overall talent.

John Wall and Bradley Beal should be able to get some easy baskets tonight, considering how bad the Sixers’ defense has been this season. Although I expect them to score the ball at a high rate tonight, both players have to make sure they get back on defense, especially since the Sixers play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA.

Even though the Sixers don’t have a talented group, Marcin Gortat and Trevor Booker can’t allow them to get second chance shots.

I think the Wizards are going to get the double-digit victory tonight. They’ve already lost to the Sixers at home this season and the team has probably realized that they can’t take any opponent lightly.

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Tags: Allen Iverson Jersey Retirement John Wall Michael Carter-williams Nba Preview Washington Wizards Wizards Vs 76ers Wizards Vs Sixers

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