After Monday's overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Sixers were able to extend their lead over their west coast foe to three games for the third best lottery odds. With just nine games left in the regular season, that's a rather comfortable lead to have.
Looking at the Sixers' other possible first round picks, specifically the Oklahoma City Thunder's top-18 protected pick, their lead is not nearly as safe. Oklahoma City and the Washington Wizards have been on the see-saw for the 19th overall pick, with the Thunder currently holding a one game lead.
So with Philadelphia taking on the Wizards Wednesday, a win here would increase the Sixers chances of having another first round pick convey.
They'll call on Nerlens Noel to lead the charge just as he did on Monday, where he scored 19 points (7-18 FG, 5-10 FT), 14 rebounds and 4 assists. The should be Rookie of the Year is still on a tear, averaging 16.3 points on 52.8% shooting and 10.3 rebounds over the past ten games. He also happens to be the only player in the NBA this season with at least 100 blocks and 100 steals.
Washington is looking to get back on track after a 99-91 loss at the hands of the Houston Rockets at home on Sunday. John Wall scored 25 points (7-17 FG, 11-12 FT) to lead all scorers, but did turn the ball over 7 times. Philadelphia's top 10 rated defense will have to do their best to keep Wall out of the paint, and turn him into a jump-shooter.
Noel and company will also have their hands full on the glass, as Washington is 4th in the league in rebounds per game with 51.5. Center Marcin Gortat leads the team with 8.7 rebounds per game.
The Sixers were without the services of Jerami Grant (upper respiratory infection), Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder soreness), and Jason Richardson (knee swelling) on Monday. Their status against the Wizards is currently unknown.
Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m., and you can catch the game on Comcast Sportsnet.
Update (12:02 p.m.): Keith Pompey reports Jerami Grant will start tonight. No word on Mbah a Moute or Richardson.