After a loss to the Pacers on Saturday, the Sixers once again find themselves back at the .500 mark. They will have to find a way to win against the current 4th seed in the East in the Wizards to avoid dropping below .500 for the first time since the London meltdown game on January 26th.
The two times these teams have met so far this season, it has been an offensive slugfest in which both games were decided by a five-point margin; the aggregate season score is 233-233.
Defending the Wizards will be slightly easier, as they are without their best player John Wall, who is out 6-8 weeks with a knee injury. However, the Wizards are 5-0 since Wall went down, beating the Hawks, Thunder, Raptors, Magic, and Pacers.
In the last matchup between these two Eastern conference enemies, Wizards coach Scott Brooks implemented the Hack-A-Simmons early into the fourth quarter and it was more effective than any Sixers fan would’ve liked. Simmons finished that game with a double-double (31/18) but he went 15-29 from the line. Since the Hack-A-Simmons game, Ben has gone 63 for 110 from the line (57%) which, statistically speaking, it an improvement on his 53% season average. His strides in free throw shooting continue to become evident: over his last seven games he is 22 for 33 (66%) from the stripe. And with John Wall out, look for Simmons to continue to be incredibly aggressive on offense.
I can’t do a pregame report without talking about Joel Embiid. Joel recently played in his first back-to-back of his career (woo hoo!). But Joel admittedly looked a tad bit tired and sluggish at points throughout the loss to the Pacers.
However, Joel and Justin Anderson made the trip out to Minnesota to see the Eagles WIN THE DAMN SUPER BOWL… so maybe that’ll kick in some motivation for Joel, Justin, and the rest of the Sixers squad as they look to make their first playoff appearance since 2012.
"WE UP NEXT!" Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid says the Sixers are up next and he's excited for the city of Philadelphia after the Eagles Super Bowl win! The Eagles were undefeated in games Embiid attended this year. #TrustTheProcess— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) February 5, 2018
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