Wizards Vs. 76ers Preview: Meet The Surprising Philadelphia Squad

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 27: Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins yells during game five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on April 27, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most surprising teams in the NBA, and they play the Wizards tonight. Let's meet them!

Are they good in general?: Yes, very much so. In fact, they've been the most surprising team in the league. They're 7-3 and they lead the league in point differential. Sure, they've played a soft schedule, but they're definitely legit.

Are they good against the Wizards? They destroyed the Wizards in the first preseason game in D.C., then beat them by less in the second one in Philadelphia. So, yes.

Are they fast or slow? They've played a lot faster this year than in the past, as they're seventh in the league in pace. In general, though, they run after missed shots and run a deliberate half-court offense off makes. Since they've been forcing many more misses than usual, they're running more, which ups their pace.

Are they especially good at anything? Ladies and gentlemen, you're looking at the league's best defensive team, at least according to the numbers. The 76ers aren't big, but they're so athletic that it's practically impossible to run pick and roll against them. Seeing as the Wizards are currently on pace to have the worst offense in NBA history, this is kind of problematic.

Are they especially bad at anything? It's tough, but if you can force this team to beat you over the top on offense, you have a chance. Andre Iguodala and Jodie Meeks are both off to woeful shooting starts, and the only major threat to worry about from downtown is Jrue Holiday. The 76ers can also be prone to forcing bad shots in transition, which hurt them in a loss to the Knicks on Wednesday.

Are there any people involved with the organization that Mike really likes? Still love Holiday.

Are there any people involved with the organization that Mike really doesn't like? Spencer Hawes (who will probably play despite an injury) has proved me wrong, so ... nobody?

Are there any players poised for a breakout? Evan Turner's per-40 numbers: 15.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists. And no, the Wizards shouldn't have taken him over John Wall.

Are there any players the Wizards especially need to worry about? Holiday is going to be a tough cover, but the tricky thing about the 76ers is that you have to watch for so many guys. They move the ball so well, and it's so hard to key in on any one person. If Holiday struggles, though, it does hurt them a little more than if the Wizards focused on anyone else.

Is their mascot cool? RIP Hip-Hop.

Any other random quirks? The whole "best defense vs. worst offense of all time" thing is sad and amusing.

Game thread at 6:30, recap right after from Sean.

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