Preview: Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers

A depleted Philadelphia 76ers team faces off against a Washington Wizards team fighting for a playoff spot

Feb 17, 2016 – Washington Wizards (32-35) @ Philadelphia 76ers (9-58), 07:00pm, The Center

Following a brutal loss, the Philadelphia 76ers host the visiting Washington Wizards in Philadelphia tonight. On Tuesday, down three rotation players, the Sixers faced the Brooklyn Nets and struggled out of the gate, letting the game get out of hand early.

The combination of missing ten straight field goal attempts while also letting Bojan Bogdanovic get hot destroyed any chance for Philly to stay in the game. A late 11-0 run in the fourth quarter made things somewhat respectable until the Sixers ran out of gas and gave up a run of their own. Bojan achieved a career high in points that night with 44.

Washington has had injury problems of their own, with key contributors like Bradley Beal and Otto Porter missing time. While they were out, the Wizards were struggling for wins and are only now getting back into the playoff picture with their full rotation back.

Injuries had especially hurt the Wizards on the chemistry front, since the team’s best lineup is when they go small ball with Otto at the power forward position instead of Nene Hilario. His long limbs aid him on defense while his ability to shoot spreads the floor for Wall’s slashing and Beal’s off-ball movement.

The Sixers will have their hands full tonight, but being back home should help them settle down.

What To Watch For

Last game was a perfect example of a team lacking energy. Philly showed no fight from the beginning and they essentially lost the game in the first quarter.

Who can be the spark plug tonight? Someone, anyone, needs to accept responsibility to get this team going emotionally. Lazy defense and stagnant offense kills every team, and Philly has even smaller leeway than most teams as it is.

I’m expecting Nerlens Noel to ignite the fire and become the emotional presence for the team again. As young as he is, he is still a senior member and key contributor. Coach Brown knows this also, and will challenge Noel to be the main presence on the team.

Final Take

The Wizards have playoff positioning to fight for and will come out swinging to try and nab that eighth spot. The Sixers don’t have the same goal but are still playing for team pride.

Philly has enough fighters on this team to make every game interesting, but its up to the players to bring the energy on every play.

Prediction – The Sixers start the game off fast, but eventually the Wizards come back and take the win. This game will feature several highlights from the Ish Smith to Nerlens connection.

Where To Catch The Game

  • Watch it! – CSNPhilly is broadcasting the game
  • Hear it! – 97.5 has the game on the radio
  • Stream it! – NBA League Pass is available for anyone out of market