Previewing the Washington Wizards vs. the Philadelphia 76ers
The Washington Wizards have seemed to be trending downwards for the last few months. Washington began the season by going on a 10-5 run and only losing seven games through the first two months of the season. However, an untimely entrance into the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols by star shooting guard Bradley Beal, as well as a crumbling of Washington’s top-10 defense, lead the Wizards to go 5-9 through the month of December. Over their last 10 games, Washington has gone 5-5, including a three-game winning streak which was snapped last Saturday against the shorthanded Portland Trailblazers.
Alternatively, the Philadelphia 76ers have been on a roll lately. Since the start of December, they’ve only lost a total of seven times for a record of 14-7. Even more, over their last 10 games, they’ve only lost once. If it hadn’t been for a complete fluke of a breakdown against the Charlotte Hornets on January 12th, Philadelphia would have been undefeated since December 20th.
As it stands, Philadelphia holds the fifth seed in the East and are just 2.5 games back from the Conference leading Chicago Bulls. However, an easy rotation of matchups for the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, and Brooklyn Nets likely means they don’t move in the standings at all with a win in this game. With a loss, Philadelphia stays put in the fifth seed.
Washington is currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, sitting six games back from the Bulls and 3.5 games back from the sixth seed Cleveland Cavaliers. With the tenth place New York Knicks holding the same record as the Wizards, if Knicks and Wizards both win, then it’s likely that Washington moves to seventh in the Conference. If the Knicks lose and Washington wins, then the Wizards likely move up just one seed in the East. If the Knicks win and Wizards lose, Washington falls to tenth in the East; and if both teams lose then Washington stays put in the ninth seed.