76ers looking to complete perfect home stand tonight against the Washington Wizards
The 76ers are currently 15-3 in their last eighteen games. A streak that includes big wins over the Nets in Brooklyn, the Heat in Miami on the second leg of a back-to-back, and most recently an OT thriller over the Grizzlies without Joel Embiid.
Currently the 76ers also sit on a five-game win streak, with the last four coming at home. Tonight the Sixers will host the Wizards, looking to go a perfect 5-0 during their home stand. One of the Sixers three loses over the last 18 games came against this Washington squad, and with Joel Embiid fully rested, Philly will be hungry to close out their season series with a win.
Since the Wizards took down the 76ers on MLK day they’ve failed to win a game. Washington currently holds a 23-27 record, and are in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Their record places them at the 12th spot in a much more competitive Eastern Conference. It is also important to mention that Washington comes into Philly on the second leg of a back-to-back after a loss in Milwaukee yesterday.
Thanks to their impressive month of January, the Sixers hold a 31-19 record, eyeing their sixth win in a row. That 31-19 record puts Philly all the way at the second seed in the East, only one game behind the Bulls for the top spot in the entire conference. Funny to think that just a week ago the 76ers held the sixth seed, and now are on the cusp of the top spot in all of the East.
The Wizards hold a pretty light injury list, but the few players on it are big ones. Last Saturday, Bradley Beal went down with a wrist injury. Beal will miss tonight’s contest as he’ll be re-evaluated in a week.
One of the other players who popped off against Philly the last time out was Thomas Bryant. He went down with a sprained right ankle last night early in the loss to the Bucks. Bryant is listed as day-to-day, but is it unlikely he’ll suit up less than a day later with an ankle sprain.
Outside of those two the rest of the Wizards roster is cleared for tonight’s action.
Over the last week the 76ers have been able to get much healthier, only making them even scarier as the All-Star break approaches. That being said, the Sixers won’t get any healthier than they were against the Grizzlies heading into this matchup.
Shake Milton has been ruled out once again with the back injury that has sidelined him for a month. Furkan Korkmaz will miss his second straight game with a knee injury.
Oh and of course Ben Simmons is out, and still finding excuses to not return to the team.
Tyrese Maxey’s Rise to Stardom
With Joel Embiid getting a much needed rest day on Monday against the Grizzlies, Philly needed a ton of help to pull out a win on home soil. Tyrese Maxey played arguably the best game of his career and catapulted the Sixers to an unprecedented win over one of the top teams in the West.
Maxey took complete control of the offense with Embiid’s absence, and even came up clutch on the defensive end. Tyrese finished with a season-high 33 points in the win, including the game-winning bucket in the final 30 seconds of overtime.
Throw in the fact Tyrese had a career-high four blocks and you’ve got a superstar-caliber performance.
Now with a nomination to the Rising Stars Tournament during All-Star weekend, let’s see if Tyrese Maxey can build on his huge performance against the Grizzlies. Maxey’s shown a ton of improvement, but the one area he’s come up short is finding his offensive rhythm next to superstar Joel Embiid.
A couple of games he’s disappeared next to the big fella, but I’d imagine after Monday he’s got some newfound confidence that couldn’t be wavered regardless who he’s next to on the court.
Tobias Harris’ Best Stretch of the Season
While Joel Embiid grabs every mid-season accolade for his other-worldly play, his fellow $180 million man has quietly been playing his best basketball of the season.
Tobias Harris has been the subject of scrutiny throughout the season due to his offensive struggles and inconsistencies. Combine that with his name circulating in trade talks and many players may crumble, but not Tobias. Take a look at some of his latest performances.
- Season-High 33 Points on 13-19 Shooting, Perfect 3-3 from Deep, 11 Rebounds Against Pelicans.
- 23 Points on 10-15 Shooting Against Lakers.
- 31 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks in OT win over Grizzlies.
All three of those games not only finished in wins, but more importantly saw Tobias get back to a much more decisive offensive style. One of the biggest problem plaguing Harris’ ability is his confidence to take shots all over the court, especially catch-and-shoot threes.
In all three of those wins, Harris attempted at least five threes and shot 67-percent during that stretch. If the 76ers can get Tobias Harris back to the form that had people calling for him to make an All-Star appearance last year, this team won’t stop rolling along.
Tonight’s odds brought to you by Parx Sportsbook, the official gambling partner of The Liberty Line.
|Washington Wizards||+370||+9.5(-110)||O 216.5 (-113)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-530||-9.5(-110)||U 216.5 (-109)|
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The last time these two teams faced off the Wizards were able to get any shot they wanted on the offensive end. Washington’s spacing forced Embiid away from the paint often and having seven players score in double digits certainly didn’t hurt either.
Despite all of that, I think this final matchup between the 76ers and Wizards won’t be close. These are two teams on much different playing fields, and the Wizards will be without their biggest star and a body to guard Embiid.
Embiid was able to torment the Washington bigs early, putting Gafford on three fouls early in the first half. With the big fella fully rested and mindful of the embarrassing loss in DC just a couple weeks ago, I am confident that the 76ers will grab a big win here.
If you’re hesitant because the 76ers are known to play down to competition and start of sluggish, I get it. I however will ride Philly all the way to not only complete the perfect home stand and move to six wins in a row, but stamp out a squad that handed the Sixers one of their most embarrassing losses of 2022.
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Gosling.