When: Saturday, January 14 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: The Verizon Center Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and the Wizards Radio App
Wizards: Ian Mahinmi: Out (knee), Danuel House: Out (wrist), John Wall: Will plays tonight
76ers: Ben Simmons: Out (foot), Joel Embiid: Out (rest)
What to watch for
How do the Wizards rebound from a tough loss against the Celtics
The Celtics are one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and the Wizards played them close, but close wasn’t good enough. It was a win the team clearly wanted to get badly with the bad blood between the two teams.
After the loss, the Wizards fell from 6th place in the conference down to 8th. It’s nowhere near playoff time, so jockeying for position isn’t as important as simply getting wins at this point, but many teams around the conference are starting to find their groove. The 76ers are playing well as of late, but will be without their star player in Joel Embiid and still the squad with lesser talent.
The Wizards have a tendency to allow lesser teams to jump out to early leads. Their games against Milwaukee without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chicago without Jimmy Butler showed us that. But coming off of a tough loss and playing against a team with momentum, the Wizards should know they cannot afford to do that here.
Will John Wall play?
Despite Wall calling his own injuries minor ones after Friday’s shootaround, he still may not be able to play in this one depending on what the league rules after his scuffle with Jae Crowder after the game in Boston.
The league has not ruled on the situation yet and Wall said he only expects a “fat fine” to come from the league. But only time will tell, and the Wizards have not won a game this season where Wall hasn’t played. So this decision could turn the entire tide of this game, even without Embiid playing.
Most likely Wizards killer: Gerald Henderson
I wanted to go with the entire 76ers roster because they all qualify, but lets be honest here. Gerald Henderson is the best choice for this. Henderson has always been a thorn in Washington’s side and turns into Kobe Bryant whenever he sees them.
Over the last five games, he’s been averaging 11.3 points per game on 53 percent shooting and has shot 60 percent from three on just 1.3 attempts. But, I’m telling you now, don’t be surprised if that 1.3 morphs into 10 and he scores 17 points in the third quarter to put the 76ers up by eight with the bench coming in to start the fourth. These things happen.