Washington Wizards are currently at 7th position in the East with a record 19-19. Prior to tonight’s match they lost their previous match-up against Boston Celtics, which was their 2nd defeat in the past 5 matches. Taking a closer look at that match, Washington were ahead by 4 points by the end of 1st half, which is not much but a lead is a lead nonetheless. The 3rd quarter was not so good for the Wizards as Boston reduced the gap to 2 points, so it would all be decided in the last quarter. The last 12 minutes were strongly in Boston favour. Celtics reduced Wizards FG% to 35.7% and held a respectable 56.5% of their own, which of course resulted in Celtics winning the last quarter by 11 points (34:23). It was a good performance from Celtics and a terrible one from Wizards. Looking at match statistics, Washington shot 42.9% from the field, they committed 7 turnovers and had 10 steals combined. The home side, Boston Celtics shot 50.6% from the field with 14 turnovers and 5 steals. Top scorers; Thomas (38pts), Beal (35pts) Crowder (20pts) and Porter (20pts).
The visiting side today, Philadelphia 76ers are seeing a great improvement recently. They are currently on a 3 game winning streak and they don’t seem to be stopping. Looking further, they have in fact lost only 1 game out of last 6 played, which is at least worth of a mention. In the 3 game winning streak, they managed to win over Nets (95:105), NY Knicks (98:97) and Hornets (102:93). The only defeat came from the same team that defeated Washington Wizards, and that is Boston Celtics (110:106). The recent match against Hornets really came off as an surprise, but I guess when you win 2 games in a row after a terrible form, the morale boost helps you to win another one. 76ers started that match with a decent pace, going into 2nd half with 7 point lead, which was reduced to 5 by the end of 3rd quarter. The only thing 76ers had t do is hold on their lead for the last 12 minutes and they did, to which they even added another 4 points with a great performance in the last quarter (26:22). The final result showed a well deserved home side win (102:93). 76ers shot 47.4%FG, with 23 turnovers and 12 steals, their opponents had a harder time scoring baskets with 32.9% accuracy from the field in addition, they committed 19 turnovers and stole the ball 12 times. Top scorers; Embiid (24pts), Batum (19pts) and Walker (17pts).
Verdict & Prediction
Philadelphia 76ers have impressed me with their performance recently and the morale boost is surely on their side going into this match. However Washington will be a real test of 76ers quality, as they hold a respectable home record of 15-6 this season. If that is not enough, Wizards have been resting for the past 2 days, whereas Philadelphia are coming straight from their game against Hornets, so we can expect 76ers to not be so fresh tonight. I had some doubts about this match, with Wall’s injury and questions if he will play or not. But with recent information that we will see Wall tonight I see no reason why Wizards shouldn’t win this one with ease.
Prediction: Washington Wizards -9.5
Odds: 1.89 Pinnacle