The Philadelphia 76ers are in Washington DC tonight to take on the Wizards after a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, 127-121. The Sixers featured a depleted lineup with Tobias Harris the only regular starter able to play, alongside recent acquisitions Buddy Hield and Cameron Payne. The Wizards are at home after a loss to the Celtics in Boston on Friday night, 129-133.
Sixers vs Wizards: game information
Who: Philadelphia 76ers (30-21) at Washington Wizards (9-42)
When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Capitol One Arena, Washington DC
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA League Pass, Monumental Sports Network
Sixers vs Wizards: Betting info
Spread: Sixers -4 | Wizards +4
Moneyline: Sixers -170 | Wizards +142
Total: Over/Under 237
Latest on the Sixers
The Sixers have been destroyed by injuries and illness over the past two months. In addition to losing reigning MVP Joel Embiid for what looks to be the remainder of the regular season at the least, they’ve been missing starters Nico Batum and DeAnthony Melton while All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey has been in and out of the lineup. For tonight, Batum, Melton, and Maxey are all listed as game-time decisions so things are still not looking up for the team.
After a hectic trade deadline that saw the Sixers send out five players to various teams while bringing back two players in Cameron Payne and Buddy Hield, the Sixers were short-handed and wound up losing to the Hawks on Friday night to end a four-game homestand where they lost all four. They’ll be looking to get back into the win column against a Wizards team that is 9-42 on the season and currently ranked as the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference, as well as the league. Only the Detroit Pistons have a worse record.
If the Sixers don’t get any of their three starters back for tonight’s game, they’ll be featuring a lineup with Tobias Harris, Buddy Hield, Paul Reed, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Cameron Payne. The trades and injuries have also left their bench depleted as 6th man, Robert Covington, has been out for almost two months so the fans will get to see plenty of minutes from Terquavion Smith, Ricky Council IV, and Kenyon Martin Jr.
Latest on the Wizards
The Wizards should feature a pretty healthy lineup with only Marvin Bagley III, the team’s third-leading scorer out for the game. That leaves Washington to start Kyle Kuzma, Tyus Jones, and Jordan Poole, alongside Bilal Coulibaly and Dani Avidja. Coming off the bench is Corey Kispert who scored 24 points against the Celtics on Friday night to tie for the team lead with Avdija.
While the Wizards haven’t had much luck, if any, this season, they did keep their core players at the deadline having held onto Kuzma and Poole as the two players whose names were brought up frequently leading up to the trade deadline. Against a depleted Sixers team, the Wizards could be looking at their 10th win of the season.
The Wizards have a young lineup with Coulibaly coming in at only 19 years old. Avidja is 23 and Jordan Pool is 24, so there’s some youthful talent on the roster. Kuzma is the elder statesman among the starters and he’s still only 28 years old. The Wizards with their youth and athleticism, combined with the Sixers’ defense not being what it was through the early parts of the season, could get them into the win column tonight as they hung in against the NBA-leading Celtics and only lost by four points.
What to watch for tonight.
There is no chance that this game has any real excitement with the exception of the Sixers’ two newest acquisitions, Hield and Payne, getting extended minutes and letting fly from all over the court. Hield is known for his three-point shooting and his first game with the Sixers was no exception as he shot 8-21 from the floor and 4-12 on his three-points attempts. While the percentage isn’t what it used to be, Hield will undoubtedly keep firing from beyond the arc.
For Payne, he shot 7-16 from the floor, including 4-9 on his three-point attempts, en-route to 20 points in his Sixers debut. Payne saw 36 minutes on the floor and may get a chance to see more than 30 minutes per game for the remainder of the season. If that’s the case, the Sixers are hoping that he’ll be able to give them consistent scoring to pair with Maxey, Harris, and Hield but once the team is healthy, Payne will see those minutes drop and will be counted on for quality over quantity as a reserve.
Things have looked bleak since the injury and surgery to then MVP front-runner, Joel Embiid and they’re not looking any better after the trade deadline. Having lost two of their better perimeter defenders in Jaden Springer and Pat Beverley, the Sixers will be relying on the athleticism and youth of players like Council and Smith to get their reserves through the remainder of the season. As of right now, with the injuries and illness going through the team, it doesn’t look like there’s a good end in sight.
Sixers 123 – Wizards 128
AP Photo/Matt Slocum