By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound after being beaten by the short-handed Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night. They faced an equally short-handed Washington Wizards squad that wanted to continue Philly’s early season misery. Philly used a third quarter offensive explosion to kill the Wizards 117-96.
Philly started the game well they were able to hit their shots early on in the game. Unlike the last few games the Sixers played like a team that needed a win. Joel Embiid had himself a game as he scored 13 of his 36-points in the first quarter. He got whatever he wanted from the field and was a monster on the defensive end. Washington had no answers for what he was doing.
Despite Embiid’s monster night the Wizards weathered the early storm and retook the lead. They were able to push it to six-points. They were led by Spencer Dinwiddie who scored 17-points. He was able to take full advantage of his shooting opportunities and terrorized the Sixers early in the game. He was stifled by the defense of Matisse Thybulle. This allowed the Sixers to hang around.
Then Philly’s second unit responded. They got Georges Niang back out of the league’s Health and Safety protocols. He immediately gave them a lift by hitting two three-pointers, and made it difficult on the Wizards shooters defensively with his length. He was not the only one who made Washington’s defensive life miserable. Furkan Korkmaz finally got out of his shooting slump as he scored 14-points and hit two three-pointers. In these last few games the second unit of the Sixers has been a huge problem. They have not been making the starter’s lives easier when they come in the game. Last week against the Brooklyn Nets they only managed to put up one-point of offense. They are missing some significant pieces who are in the league’s Health and Safety protocols (Andre Drummond, Shake Milton, and Danny Green). Their absences on both ends of the floor have been felt. If the second unit can follow this up in the next few games with some more impressive showings it will keep Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry fresher as they head into the All-Star break in two months.
Philly now will prepare for the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. They will need another strong night from their second unit if they want to stifle the offensive firepower of the Raptors. Additionally they will need to improve on their perimeter defense as well if they want to get their 18th win of the season.