When: Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Rui Hachimura (Eye, Out)
76ers: Matisse Thybulle (Ankle, Game-Time Decision)
The Wizards are one man down going into the regular season with Rui Hachimura sitting out for approximately three weeks with bi-lateral epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC). After his 18-point performance in the team’s first preseason game, there was an excitement to see him start the season. Now, we will just have to be patient and wait for his return.
The first glimpses of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook play together in the last preseason game are past us so it’s time to see how things unfold when it really matters. As expected, Beal and Westbrook saw limited minutes in the last preseason game. Beal, who averaged 36 minutes per game last season, was on the floor for 27 and Westbrook only saw 17 minutes.
Will Beal drop 30.5 points a game this season?
With the addition of Westbrook, I don’t see it happening not because it can’t but because it doesn’t have to. There will be some weight lifted off of Beal’s shoulders with the 9-time All-Star joining him in the frontcourt.
The Wizards are going into the regular season after beating the Pistons in the last two preseason games. Similarly, the 76ers won their two preseason games. There’s no doubt the Wizards should be prepared for Dwight Howard, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and especially Shake Milton after how well he played off the bench in Philly’s preseason games.
Milton, who averaged 9.4 points per game last season, scored 19 in the first game, and 15 in the second game coming off of the bench. In fact, the 76ers bench helped spark the team’s third-quarter run and ultimate win against the Indiana Pacers last Friday. The Wizards should not sleep on the 76ers bench at all.