The Philadelphia 76ers have been subject to a lot of controversy and looked to build on last week’s pre-season performances to defeat the Washington Wizards. But a mismatch on paper proved to be a mismatch on the court as the Wizards romped to a 127-118 win at the Wells Fargo Center.
The game started poorly for the Sixers as defensively they were almost invisble. The Wizards went 12/13 early on and ended the first quarter with 41 points. It was a difficult scenario to fight back from and understandably despite some big Offensive performances, were unable to do so.
Pierre Jackson finally took to the court however making his pre-season debut after much speculation. After missing the entirety of last season, Jackson was on the court for 12 minutes to score two points and pick up three assists. For his first live game scenario in such a long time, he certainly showed some signs of promise.
Whilst we’re talking PG, In terms of the position battle it was Scottie “2 hottie” Wilbekin who lit it up once again. He recorded a team high 21 points against the Wizards and scored 19 of those in the games closing quarter…even more telling is that 12 of those points came from 3 point range. If this man isn’t the definition of clutch then I don’t know what is.
Nerlens Noel returned on Friday night but without his new partner in crime Jahlil Okafor. Noel ended with a 4-7 FG record and three rebounds.
Jordan McRae continued to struggle..after going 3-7 in FG’s last time out against the Wizards..he put up a dismal 4-18. 0-6 on field goal attempts and 4 turnovers rounded out a shocking day for a player who had the most minutes of anybody with 31. Tokoto was also among the names that couldn’t find a rhythm against a team whose Offense dominated a slow and youthful D.
The Washington Offense runs so fast that guys like Porter are able to run through and dominate with the inexperience showing quite prominently from the Sixers..Porter is now 14-16 on FG’s through two games against the team after going 6-6 tonight. John Wall also enjoyed a disjointed Sixers D, taking advantage fully by dishing 10 assists in just 15 minutes.
One man who actually looked impressive was TJ McConnell who actually put up a double double. Rallying his team back from the depths of embarrassment with 10 assists is a very respectable feat and his shooting from the floor was just as impressive. McConnell put the team on his shoulders and took a team who trailed by 24 points to within just ten.
This is the second time that the team have rallied back from the brink of a heartbreaking loss to a respectable result. Whilst right now things don’t look great, some big parts were missing from this Sixers team. (Okafor, Canaan, Sampson, Wroten, Sauce etc) But again, the heart and passion shone through. It might have been a dark first half..but the effort and determination to not give up and grind their way back into a matchup like that has to be applauded.
From here on out, the team face the Nets on Sunday and will head back to the drawing board to try and figure out where it is they’re going wrong and how to fix it before the season begins.