The Philadelphia 76ers are at home on Monday night, taking on the Washington Wizards for the second time in the last week. Last Wednesday saw Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Kelly Oubre return to give the Sixers a full squad against the Wizards. While the game wasn’t the blowout that many thought it would be, the Sixers pulled it out in the end, winning 131-126.
Sixers vs Wizards details
Who: Washington Wizards (3-18) at Philadelphia 76ers (14-7)
When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia Pa.
Watch: NBA League Pass, NBC Sports Philadelphia, Monumental Sports Network
Sixers vs Wizards betting info
Spread: Sixers -12 | Wizards +12
Moneyline: Sixers -670 | Wizards +475
Total: O/U 244.5
Can the Sixers domiante without Embiid?
The big news is that Joel Embiid is listed as questionable for the team tonight, as he’s battling some soreness in his knee which he injured later in the Hawks game. While he participated in a Sunday practice, the team will look to be cautious with its MVP center.
If Embiid is unable to go, and there’s no reason to pressure him against the Wizards, the team will look to Marcus Morris Sr., Paul Reed, and Mo Bamba to split the minutes at the center position. It shouldn’t make a difference against the hapless Wizards who may be without their starting center, Daniel Gafford.
What the Sixers will need is for Tyrese Maxey to be playing his best and leading the team. For the season, Maxey is 12th in the league in scoring at 27.1 points per game and we could see that increase with another big performance against the Wizards. He has averaged 30 points and 6.3 assists per game over his last four games and the Sixers will need as much if they’re to win without Embiid.
Besides the two big names, the Sixers should get Kelly Oubre, in his third game back from injury, some more minutes and expect a big night from him as he’s getting back into game shape. DeAnthony Melton will need to continue his recent hot stretch as he’s averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game over his last four games. Melton has been doing much better but after a four-game streak of shooting lights out from beyond the three-point line, he’s settled back into his usual as he’s been 12-34 for 35.3% from deep over the last four contests.
Wizards need some magic in Philly
When you’re looking at the Wizards team, you try to get any sort of positive out of their situation that you can find. You can look at Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole and be happy that they’re averaging 22.9 and 17.0 points per game, respectively but the Sixers have four players scoring over 15 per game and Melton is trending toward that mark with his play of late.
After Kuzma and Poole, the Wizards are just not the impressive. The trio of Tyus Jones, Cory Kispert, and Deny Avdija can try as they might but they’re undersized and between the three of them they combine to average just one more point per game than Joel Embiid does on his own.
The team may also be without their starting center as Daniel Gafford is questionable with an ankle injury. At 6’10” and 234 lbs., Gafford has good size and athletic ability. His scoring, at 9.9 points per game, leaves a lot to be desired from a starting center on a team like the Wizards that needs scoring. Gafford is an energy guy who also gets 7.2 rebounds and most importantly is averaging 2.1 blocks per game this season. If Embiid does miss the game, the Wizards would be wise to utilize Gafford, if he actually plays.
The team is also short-handed with Johnny Davis, Landrey Shamet, Delon Wright, and Ryan Rollins all listed as “out” on the injury report. There’s just not much hope for the Wizards but they hung in last week, so we’ll have to see what happens tonight.
What should you watch for?
The Sixers are looking forward to their third straight win as they’re in the beginning of the easiest part of their schedule on the season. If Joel Embiid can play the Sixers should be using this game, after having two with the full roster, as an All-Star-level showcase. There should be lots of scoring, lots of long-range threes, lots of dunks, dominance from Embiid down low, and some Kelly Oubre highlights as he gets his legs back under him.
The Wizards have the 21st-ranked offense in the league and with the aforementioned players, that’s not an anomaly. They’re just not very good and they’re even worse on defense, ranking dead last in the league, giving up 120.7 points per game. While they were able to hang in with the Sixers just last week, that was more on the Sixers not playing well rather than the Wizards stepping up their game.
The Sixers come in with the second-best offensive rating in the league and if Tobias Harris can get out of his slump, Oubre gets more used to playing after missing time with injury, and Melton continues his recent stretch, this could be a very long night for a Wizards team that just lost by 27 to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
I’m hoping Embiid is playing because it’s a show against the Wizards, especially this season where he’s averaging 49 points, 12 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in the two games they’ve played. Another 50 point night from The Process would not be a terrible thing. If he doesn’t go, you have to believe that Maxey will want to show out and get the Sixers 40.
Sixers 132 – Wizards 106
AP Photo/Kyle Phillips