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Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards: Regular Season Game 3 Open Thread

Home opener! Wall vs. Turner! Yay!

Will fill in more later, but start the discussion here. Sean and I will both be there with all the updates you need.


STARTERS: John Wall, Kirk Hinrich, Al Thornton, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee for the Wizards, Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Andres Nocioni, Elton Brand and Spencer Hawks for the 76ers.

UPDATE: Some pregame notes, via Mike

  • Gilbert Arenas won't play tonight with his ankle injury, but Flip Saunders did say that he will attempt to practice tomorrow. Arenas was doing some shooting before the game, and running through some drills with Sam Cassell. He looked pretty good, but he definitely was going at half speed. Sean will have some videos later.
  • Saunders said that while he likes the progressing John Wall is making, he doesn't think the Wizards can "consistently" win with him as the teams' primary scorer. "No," he said, when asked that question. "I think John is going to be a guy that, because of how he plays, he can go out and get 17, 18, 19 points, but that's not the best part of his game. The best part of his game is his ability to make other players better.
  • Flip said the team worked on their rebounding, making that a major point of emphasis.
  • I asked Flip about Andray. "We need him to protect the rim for us, rebound for us and give us a presence inside. Any team that's good in this league, they have someone who they can throw the ball down to and at least draw some coverage, get to the free-throw line, and score."
  • I also got a chance to listen in on Doug Collins' pre-game press conference, mostly for an SB Nation D.C. story I'm working on. But I'll share a couple interesting nuggets.
  • I asked him to give his impressions of John Wall from what he's seen. "I've seen John Wall since he was in high school. He's amazing. First of all, he's a point guard, and when I say that, I'm saying that because, a lot of guys that get brought up, we say they're point guards, but really they are not. John Wall is a point guard. He's a leader, he's a winner."
  • Collins also said that, despite his poor jumper right now, Wall will hit a lot of jump shots. "I know a lot of these teams, on these pick and rolls, are challenging him to make jump shots, but his stroke is too good."
  • Collins said he texted Michael Jordan upon coming back into town to say hello. Yes, MJ texted back.
  • Collins also reflected on the MJ era a bit, which was interesting. "They can say what they want to say, but basketball was alive here when MJ was here. Had he not gotten hurt his first year, we would have made the playoffs, and maybe the second year [too]."
  • Evan Turner's impressions on John Wall, in case you're curious: "He's an NBA player. He's fast, he super quick, super athletic. He's built to play in the NBA." That's it. He wasn't that talkative in pregame, but I think that's his style.

More later. GO WIZARDS!