At 26-14 in the Eastern Conference, the fourth seeded 76ers have the league's top home record at 17-3. Washington heads into the game only 5-17 on the road, but took down the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Saturday, 116-98. The 76ers took the first meeting between the teams in a home blowout, 123-98.
Examining the two teams more closely, the 76ers are fifth in rebounding, leading to more possessions than most teams, contributing to their sixth ranked scoring offense. On the negative, they are 23rd in points allowed and 26th in turnovers. When Philadelphia struggles in those areas, they are more apt to lose. Washington is around the middle of the pack in scoring and turnovers, but near the bottom in rebounding and defense, which is a bad combination against the 76ers.
With the loss of John Wall for the season due to injury, Washington must rely more heavily on Bradley Beal, who leads the team in scoring at 24 points per game. In attempts to make up for the 21 points per game lost in Wall's absence, Trevor Ariza, Otto Porter Jr, Jeff Green and Markieff Morris need to up their games. Tomas Satoransky replaced Wall in the starting lineup and was a key contributor with 15 points in their win over Oklahoma City.
The 76ers could be without Jimmy Butler, who missed Saturday's game and is listed as day-to-day with an illness. Clearly the team is lead by Joel Embiid, who has dominated most centers he has played against. The MVP candidate is averaging 26.9 points and 13.5 rebounds per game. Veteran shooting guard JJ Redick is hitting 38 percent from three-point range and averaging a career-high 18.3 points per game. Second-year guard Ben Simmons is the floor general, averaging eight assists to go along with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Despite Washington's improbable win over Oklahoma City, the 76ers are clearly the better overall team. They generally thrive in front of their home crowd and should take down the Wizards if they keep the pressure on from the opening tip off. Look for the 76ers to win and keep pressure on the top teams in the Eastern Conference.