Tonight, the Wizards continue their tour of Eastern Conference's cellar as they head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. Unlike some of their other recent games, the Wizards have a score to settle after their embarrassing loss the last time they played in Philadelphia. They made it clear they were the superior team in their 106-93 win at home last week, but a convincing win tonight would help cover that blemish on the team's résumé.
Speaking of résumés, the Wizards move one step closer to making some franchise history with a victory. A win tonight would tie them with the 2004-05 Wizards for the most regular season wins (45) for this franchise since the 1978-79 Bullets.
Where and when? The Wizards take on the 76ers tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center. You can watch the game on CSN Washington or join the #radioparty 99.1 WNEW.
Who's out? Garrett Temple is out, as he continues to recover from his hamstring injury. It looks like he won't be back until next week. Paul Pierce and Nene are questionable after missing the last three games, including their last game against the 76ers on April 1st. You could see the Wizards go either way with deciding whether or not to play Pierce and Nene tonight. As they showed last week, they probably don't need either one to beat Philadelphia tonight, but it would be a nice game to give them some time to get back in the flow of things before the playoffs.
UPDATE: Paul Pierce practiced today, but John Wall did not. Wall is out and Nene is doubtful.
Clarification: Nene is here but did NOT practice. Pierce did #WizardsTalk @CSNWizards #NBA #WizSixers— J. Michael (@JMichaelCSN) April 8, 2015
Wall isn’t going to play tonight. Sessions will start.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) April 8, 2015
It's good to hear Wall is finally getting some much needed rest. Hopefully the 76ers don't feel too disrespected.
The 76ers will be without Joel Embiid and Tony Wroten, who are out for the season. Isaiah Canaan, Luc Mbah A Moute, and Thomas Robinson are all also questionable for tonight's game.
How are the 76ers doing? They lost by 10 to the Knicks on Sunday, so not great. But last week, our sister site Liberty Ballers was able to get 76ers coach Brett Brown on their podcast, so that's pretty cool.
Fun fact: The Wizards traded the 38th and 54th overall picks to Philadelphia in the 2013 NBA Draft to move up to the 35th overall pick and select Glen Rice Jr. No selected with those picks is in the NBA right now.
wait that's not fun
Key to tonight's game: Hold on to the lead. In last week's win over the 76ers, the Wizards once again gave in to their tendency of letting leads shrink in the fourth quarter. Unlike some other games, you can blame some of the Wizards' struggles on just letting their foot off the gas too early, which is more correctable than some of their other late-game issues.
Still, at this juncture in the season holding on to a big lead to keep the starters on the bench is just as important as holding on to a small lead in a competitive game. The Wizards need every competitive advantage they can get heading into the playoffs, and one of the best ones they can grab is having a well-rested core that's not exposing themselves to more chances of getting injured.