The Philadelphia 76ers are in the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. The Sixers, trying to get back in the win column after two consecutive losses to the Celtics and Pelicans, will have their full lineup tonight. The Wizards will be looking to do the same after two back-to-back losses to the Orlando Magic.
Sixers vs Wizards Game Information
Who: Philadelphia 76ers (12-7) at Washington Wizards (3-16)
When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Capitol One Arena, Washington D.C.
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, Monument Sports Network
Sixers vs Wizards betting info
Spread: Sixers -10 | Wizards +10
Moneyline: Sixers -455 | Wizards +350
Total: O/U 240
What to look for from the Sixers
The Sixers look to be at full strength for tonight’s game as center Joel Embiid is returning from a two-game absence due to illness and hasn’t played since the Sixers beat the Lakers on Nov. 27. Guard Tyrese Maxey, who missed the loss to the Celtics due to illness, is also healthy and in the lineup for tonight.
The big news for the Sixers, besides getting their two best players back on the court, is that forward Kelly Oubre Jr. will be making his return to the floor after fracturing a rib in an off-court accident almost a month ago. Oubre Jr. has been averaging 16.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game over eight games this season.
He has given the Sixers an added offensive weapon and provided reliable, competitive defense for the team as well. He’s been missed as guard DeAnthony Melton and forward Tobias Harris have had an up-and-down time trying to replace the spark Oubre Jr. provided the team.
With Oubre’s return to the Sixers’ bench and the return of Batum to the starting lineup, Philadelphia’s rotation is once again whole. Having Oubre on the second unit, along with Paul Reed, Marcus Morris Sr., Robert Covington, and Pat Beverly, will surely help the Sixers.
Those vets had done a great job filling in while Oubre and Embiid missed time and will now have the luxury of falling back into their normal roles. The team looks to be fully healthy for the first time all season and should have a good rotation through the night.
What to look for from the Wizards
The Wizards are kind of like the Durham Bulls in the movie “Bull Durham.” There’s a great scene where the manager and the bench coach are yelling at the team and discussing their record. It could really take place in Washington these days.
Skip: “What’s our record?”
Larry: “Three and Sixteen”
Skip: (disgustedly) “Three and Sixteen. How did we ever win three?”
Larry: “It’s a miracle.”
Skip: “It’s a miracle.”
That pretty much sums up the Wizards season so far. When you can name the team the Wizards have beaten (Grizzlies, Pistons, and Hornets) and you’re twenty games into the season, that’s not a good sign.
Having Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole hasn’t helped elevate a team that had better aspirations than three wins so far on the season. Kuzma is doing his part, averaging 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, and Poole is averaging 17.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists over the same period. It’s just that both players are making over $25 million on the season, with Poole the team leader at $27.5 million; there’s not been much return on the investment for the Wizards.
It may be harder for the two to succeed as they had hoped, given the remaining players on the roster. When Danilo Gallinari and Laundry Shamet are the two most recognizable names on the roster, after your top two players, then there’s something wrong with the team as a whole.
Poole and Shamet are both listed as questionable for the game tonight, as is Johnny Davis. Delon Wright and Ryan Rollins are both out. Wright has at least been giving the team 5.0 points and 4.4 assists in just over 17 minutes per game, which puts the Wizards into more of a bind against the Sixers. There’s just not much to look forward to for the team.
What to watch for tonight
The Sixers should use this game against one of the worst teams in the league to get their team back on the same page. With the return of Embiid and Maxey to the starting lineup, plus the long-awaited return of Kelly Oubre, the Sixers should have no problem handing the Wizards their 17th loss on the season.
You would think that this is the perfect “trap game” for the Sixers to lose, but this season is a little different than the past several. The team is much deeper, and when the team is healthy, as they are tonight, they can compete with anyone in the league. While the reserves can’t step in and win games, they’ve shown enough, see the most recent loss to the Celtics, to see that they can provide for the Sixers when their stars may have off nights.
The Wizards are in for a night of pain as if this season hasn’t been painful enough. They’re running into a Sixers team, coming off two losses without their stars, looking to make a point and run through them. The Sixers have two games against the Wizards, two against the Pistons, as well as the Bulls, Hornets, and Hawks, before they play a contending team in the Timberwolves on Dec. 20.
These next seven games should all be wins, and the Sixers should be using them to get everyone settled into their roles, build a more cohesive and definite bench unit, and run up their victory total before the end of the year.
Joel Embiid triple-double, Tyrese Maxey 30 points and 10 assists, and Kelly Oubre 20+ points? These are all real possibilities with the Wizards tonight. Highlight reel dunks, blocks, and logo three-pointers? You could probably count on that as well. There just doesn’t seem to be much hope for the Wizards, but they’ll be able to enjoy the show from courtside.
Sixers 138 – Wizards 103