The Philadelphia 76ers (26-14) will look to keep their winning streak intact with the Washington Wizards (14-26) in town tonight.
• When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
• Where: Wells Fargo Center
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
The Wizards are coming in with some confidence, coming off a huge win on the road, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-98, behind a 25-point night from Bradley Beal.
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The Sixers should have a couple of extra bodies as Jimmy Butler and Wilson Chandler both participated in Monday's practice after sitting out the last two games with an upper respiratory infection.
Here are three storylines to watch for in tonight's game.
Thomas Bryant vs. Joel Embiid
Thomas Bryant has a tough challenge ahead of him, starting against the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Joel Embiid has been on an absolute tear this season, especially in first halves. The reason I make the first half distinction is because that is where Bryant has struggled going up against the likes of Steven Adams and Hassan Whiteside in his last two matchups.
This isn't Bryant's first go at Embiid. In their first matchup, he limited him to 4-of-10 shooting while on the floor together, but Embiid dominated the boards, finishing with 15 rebounds. As a team, the Sixers outrebounded Washington, 58-42. No reason to veer from that game plan.
Not giving up big leads
It's been a theme of this season. The Sixers get out in front with a huge lead, only to see it dwindle, and as Embiid likes to say, "make it interesting" at the end. Brett Brown said after last game that the connection between this in previous games has been two-fold:
1. "Purpose-less offense," (i.e. just dumping the ball to Embiid and expecting him to take them home), which produces turnovers.
2. Disconnect defensively on switches, which has especially led to opponent threes.
The Sixers were able to hold on to a big lead against the Wizards in the first matchup, which allowed for some rest for the starters in the fourth. Will they be able to do it again?
Will the Ben Simmons jump shots continue?
Simmons taking jump shots - though in small doses - has been a welcome addition to the offense. Brown has said it's needed to get them to where they want to go, but that it's going to come on Simmons' terms. It's looking like it's the beginning of it coming on his terms. I'm not worried about whether Simmons makes them right now. As long as he keeps shooting them, that's a good sign.
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