With all due respect to the Philadelphia 76ers, the question going into Monday's matinee game wasn't about whether or not the Wizards would win. The only question was how the Wizards would come out and play after a shaky back-to-back against the Brooklyn Nets and before Kevin Durant and the Thunder come to town on Wednesday in what will be an awkward encounter for all involved.
Given those circumstances, and an unusual 2 PM start to today's game, you could have understood why the Wizards would have started the game a bit uneven. But that wouldn't be the case, as the Wizards rolled to an easy 111-76 win, that allowed the Wizards to take care of the everything a team wants to accomplish in a game that shapes up to be a blowout. Here's what they accomplished in their blowout win over Philadelphia.
1. They put the game away early
After Nerlens Noel tipped in a shot to give the Sixers a 8-7 lead, the Wizards ripped off a 20-6 to close the first quarter. John Wall had 6 points and 2 assists in the run, Gortat added six more points, and Bradley Beal helped facilitate things with a pair of assists, one to Gortat to start the run, and another to Pierce to kick the run into high gear.
The Wizards squashed any notion that the Sixers would make thing interesting with the run, and from there, it wasn't much of a battle. According to Prediction Machine, the Wizards' win probability against Philadelphia was at 99.2 percent with 2 seconds left to go in the first half.
2. They minimized playing time for key players
Every Wizard played less than 29 minutes in today's win, and Randy Wittman did a solid job of limiting the minutes for his older players. Paul Pierce only played 22 minutes. Nene, Andre Miller and Rasual Butler didn't even get to 20. Instead, Otto Porter and Kevin Seraphin both logged more time than usual and responded with confidence-boosting, double-digit scoring nights.
3. They helped struggling players get back in rhythm
In addition to Porter and Seraphin, the Wizards' win also helped Marcin Gortat and Rasual Butler get back on track. Gortat had 20 points. 8 rebounds and pair of blocks in 28 minutes of action. Butler had 8 points, and a pair of assists and rebounds. On the whole, Butler's game wasn't great but he helped key the aforementioned run that put the game away. I'm sure he won't be too stricken by some of his other misses.
Sure, you might dismiss these performances and say "Oh, it's just the Sixers" but if they hadn't done well today, then we'd all be saying "They couldn't even get it done against the Sixers" right now. You can't have it both ways. At the end of the day, a meaningless blowout win still seems a lot nicer than a narrow win that's meaningful for all the wrong reasons.