The Wizards had their character win of the year in Toronto this past Thursday. We had not one, but TWO RECAPS on it.
Well, tonight the Wizards are on the road to play a reeling Sixers team, but they will also be the road team on the same night when former franchise superstar Allen Iverson's number will be retired. Given Iverson's accolades while in the NBA and his significance for the Sixers franchise, it's a big deal. The arena will be sold out, and the fans will be pumped up.
While you may want to call this a typical trap game, this game will be a bigger test for the Wizards as they will also face a very motivated fanbase who will look for another bright moment tonight besides seeing #3 hang on the rafters. These are all ingredients for a possible feel-good win for a team that hasn't had too many of those this season.
While Philly sports fans are happy to celebrate Iverson's accomplishments tonight, he also has ties to the D.C. area, as he once played for the Georgetown Hoyas under legendary coach John Thompson, Jr. SB Nation Georgetown blog Casual Hoya has a tribute which you can read by clicking here.
Where and when? 7:30 p.m., Wells Fargo Center in Philly. Watch the game on Comcast SportsNet. It's also on nationally, albeit through NBA TV.
Are they good? No. Philadelphia is on a 12 game losing streak, the longest current streak in the NBA.
Who's out? For the Wizards, Nene and Kevin Seraphin. For the Sixers, Brandon Davies, Jason Richardson, and Nerlens Noel will be out.
What are they good at? Michael Carter-Williams has been a great all around player for them this season under the circumstances.
What are they bad at? Almost everything else. They allow opponents to beat them by an average of 10.7 points a game. That's the worst in the league.
Who's going to win? On the surface, the Wizards should win this game handily. However, the Sixers fans will be in full force tonight to celebrate Iverson's number retirement and the players will be extra motivated to win one for a legend. I can also see the Wizards lose tonight to the Sixers, especially if they fall behind big early. Therefore, I anticipate the atmosphere of this game to be just like a playoff game, and therefore, the Wizards need to approach this game like that.
I'm an optimist though and think the Wizards will find an answer (no pun intended) to win however. The best way to win a game like this to me at least, is to get to a big lead early which will set the tone for this game, after the emotions around Iverson's number retirement subside.