Regular Season Game 50
Wizards (28-21) at Sixers (17-35)
Previous Results: Wizards 113, Sixers 98.
It's now been three days since guaranteegate, and it's about time to see how the Wizards respond. We've been hearing all the right things, and the mood seems to be back to normal, but we'll never know into they put a good performance on the court.
Injured Antawn Jamison says everything will go away if they just win tonight.
I mean...this is a pretty obvious point, but it's still worth mentioning. The break can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you enter it.
With all that in mind, we head to Philadelphia, a place that, before the victory earlier this year, was a quasi-curse for Wizards teams. Even while Philadelphia started floundering and the Wizards started succeeding, Washington had lost four straight in the City of Brotherly Love. One of the most painful moments occured in 2005, when when Allen Iverson stole an inbounds pass and hit a layup at the buzzer to give the Wizards a two-point win. There was also an overtime loss last year where Iverson scored 47 points to lead Phily to the win.
But these aren't the same 76ers. Iverson is in Denver, Chris Webber is in Detroit, and the remaining players are surprisingly competitive. The Sixers are 12-17 since dealing Iverson to Denver in December. Andre Iguodala has emerged as the type of player the Sixers expected him to be last year. Without Iverson and Webber aroud, Iguodala is controlling the ball more, and his scoring and assits numbers are way up. Andre Miller has also provided a steadying veteran influence in the backcourt, and Samuel Dalembert has started to pick up his play as well. This is not going to be an easy game by any means.
Despite the debacle at Portland, Eddie Jordan will keep Andray Blatche in the starting lineup tonight. The good news is that Philadelphia is very weak at the 4 with Steven Hunter, but Blatche will also have to play more within himself than he has in the last couple games. Etan Thomas is also out tonight, which means we'll probably see a lot of Calvin Booth or a lot of the small lineup.
Your lines for tonight:
Wizards at Sixers: Wizards by 2.
Over/Under on Big 2: 49.5 points.
This is an open game thread, so any anti-Shalvik Randolph comments go here.