When you have one team trying to give it 100% and hit on all cylinders for the playoffs against a team trying every tactic under the sun to find one that works to end the season on a positive, there is always going to be a few surprises.
The game Wednesday night would have satisfied any betting men, as the Wizards handed the 18-win Sixers a 106-93 defeat. The Wizards are in the comfortable midst of a five game homestand and seemed settled from tip off. However it was never certain that they would walk out as victors as the Sixers took the fight to them.
Brett Brown’s main aim has to be that his team can continue its improved defensive play to close out the season, but it just wasn’t there against a team so dominating. The lead was 28 strong going into the half time break and had the Sixers not outscored the Wizards 31-13 in the fourth then the lead would have appeared much more one sided.
Ish Smith led the Sixers with 23 points, shooting 11-for-17 from the floor. Canaan ball himself scored 18, while Hollis Thompson hit 16.
Nerlens Noel went off yet again, achieving his fifth double-double in six games. The rookie hit 14 points, 10 boards, and 3 dimes.
So whilst the Sixers were never expected to win and the loss is still going to aid their chances in pulling a high draft pick, the defensive progress shown over the season took a kicking last night. The team soldiered on like the city attitude boasts and fought until the bitter end with some resurgence. But against a team so powerful all it took was the re-insertion of some starters to put the Sixers on the back foot again. More and more positives are starting to emerge as the season comes to an end, regardless of the results. The Sixers are achieving what Coach Brown set out to do. End the season on a positive note.