The Washington Wizards are 21-26 have to find a way to get back in the playoff conversation for the Eastern Conference. What better way to get on a roll than with the Philadelphia 76ers 7-42, arguably one of the worst teams in NBA history.
Winning against the Sixers could spark some pride in the team and help them turn the tide after a troubling first half of the season. But even if it isn't the spark, it beats the alternative. Losing to the Sixers would not help the arguments that the Washington Wizards just aren't that good, and might not make the playoffs this season.
When: Friday, February 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN Washington and CSN Philadelphia
Radio: WNEW 99.1 FM in the DMV, and the Fanatic 97.5 FM in Philly.
Wizards: Alan Anderson and Kris Humphries are still out.
Sixers: Joel Embiid is out with right foot injury.
Keys to Success
1. Stay Aggressive
It all starts with Bradley Beal and John Wall, attacking the basket, creating easy looks for the team and dictating the tempo of the game. Then the third scoring option is still up in the air. Some nights it's Gortat. Some nights it's Nene. Otto Porter, even. Against the Golden State Warriors, the Washington Wizards played one of their best games all season with intensity and heart. "I hate losing. We did play hard. If we play like that every game, we should be able to beat everybody." Beal said, "We just can't show up against Golden State because it's Golden State. We have to be able to carry this out throughout the rest of the year. It's do or die."
2. Play with chip on shoulder
Respect your opponent. This should be easy win for the Wizards, all things considered. The 76ers are 3-23 on the road. The Wizards have to play smart and not take plays off or give the 76ers an opportunity to win the game. The Wizards must come out hard and punch first. Washington should approach every game from here on out with a playoff mindset, because their backs are against the wall at this point. Their postseason chances are diminishing game by game, and Philapehida would love nothing more than to embarrass the Washington Wizards with yet another home loss.
The last time the Wizards won at home was January 20, 2016 against the Miami Heat.
3. Remember defensive concepts
I am having a hard time remembering the Wizards defensive concepts myself, but if they force turnovers, get out on the break and battle for the offensive rebound, the Wizards have a pretty good chance to beat the 76ers, considering Philadelphia is the league's lowest scoring team, averaging 94.8 points per game. Unfortunately for Washington, over the last 6 games they have allowed 118.2 points, and only managed one win during that span.
Potential Wizards Killer
Now a starter for the Philapdehia 76ers, Ish Smith was there in training camp when Randy Wittman implemented his new offensive system. There is no one more capable of exploiting the Wizards offense than this 6'0 point guard, he's played alongside Garrett Temple and Kelly Oubre Jr., so he knows their tendencies. Ish Smith is having one of the best years of his career and in total control of the Philadelphia offense. He has started every game since rejoining the team on Christmas Eve, and the 76ers are 6-12 since he returned. He's averaging 11.5 points, 6.6 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game.