The Washington Wizards play host to the Philadelphia 76ers at Verizon Center on Thursday. The Sixers (15-6) have one flaw and it’s their road form. In fact, they come into this matchup with a 5-6 road record, which means they have a perfect 10-0 mark at Wells Fargo Center. While being undefeated at home is impressive, it’s certainly unacceptable for this team to be below .500 on the road. The simple fact is, this club is going to have to win road games in the playoffs if they want to make the title run that they expect and this is a good spot for them to get back on track. What does travel is defense though, with Philly allowing the fourth-fewest points in the NBA. That is something they’ll need to continue to do and it’s scary to think how good they’ll be once all five of these starters are on the floor together. The Wizards (6-13) own the second-best offense based on efficiency rating but even that isn’t good enough to make up for their lack of defense. In fact, this club is allowing over 120 points per game for the year, the worst mark in the NBA. They’ve actually been even worse recently, allowing 127 points per game over their last 11 outings. That’s truly horrific and it’s hard to understand why they’ve been that bad on that end of the floor. What makes it even more concerning is the fact that Bradley Beal is in the midst of a career season, averaging 28.7 points and 7.2 assists per game. That has to make one wonder how long he and the injured John Wall will remain in Washington, with both players being the focal points of many trade discussions. Losing Thomas Bryant for 3-4 weeks only adds to the despair, as this club has an uphill battle ahead of them. These teams played three times last season, with Philly winning the season series, 2-1. In fact, the home team prevailed in all three games which has ironically happened in each of their last 10 meetings in total.
December 5, 2019