The Wizards got that monkey off their back, getting their first win of the year in convincing fashion by downing the Sixers in Philly, 116-102. The Wizards were on fire from beyond the arc, hitting a franchise record 18 three pointers at a 54.5% clip. John Wall led seven Wizards in double figures with 24 points including a career high five three pointers and nine assists. Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 12 boards and Bradley Beal added 17 points and a career high eight assists. - Jacob Raim
Randy Wittman updated the media prior to tonight's game and said that both Nene (calf) and Trevor Booker (finger) would both be available to play in tonight's #WizSixers game. Nene had missed the previous two games with a sore calf, but having him back in there should pay immediate dividends. There was no indication whether he would start or how many minutes he will be able to play, but anything he can give will go a long way. As I mentioned earlier in the blog, the Wizards gave up 74 points in the paint on Friday against these Sixers without Nene in the lineup. Hopefully he and Gortat will be able to prevent that from happening again with a strong defensive effort tonight.
Another nugget I picked up from Brett Brown's pregame availability was that Thaddeus Young, who led the Sixers with 29 points last Friday, had only one play called for him the entire game. He took 20 shots in that game, but Brown seems more keen to having a free flowing offense rather than calling certain guys' numbers to shoot the ball. Stopping Young get to the hoop will be one of the keys for the Wizards tonight.
Here is a clip of Seraphin, Booker, and Vesely warming up before tonight's game.
The action kicks off at 7pm and I'll be chatting live from the Wells Fargo Center.
Gameday in Philly!
I just got back from shootaround at Wells Fargo Center, where the Wizards will return tonight to try and get that first W of the season. This is a big one as nobody wants to go any longer without having a crooked number in the win column and this will get that initial monkey off the team's back. The Sixers beat the Wizards, 109-102, last Friday at Verizon Center so this will be a great chance for payback on Philly's home court.
Nene took part in shootaround this morning and unless something goes bad between now and tip-off, he should be out there in the Wizards starting lineup. He missed the last two games with a calf injury.
Casey spoke with Marcin Gortat at shootaround for a Courtside Report, where he talked about adjusting to the team and a bit about tonight's game:
Gortat should play a big role in tonight's game as one of the key stats from Friday night's game was points in the paint allowed. A staggering 74. When the team lost Emeka Okafor to injury, they went out and brought in Gortat to be a guy that could fill that void and protect the rim. The Sixers are not blessed with many perimeter shooters, so if the Wizards can protect the paint tonight they should be able to keep Philadelphia under 100 points.
Randy Wittman talked about some of the keys to tonight's game and the health of his players in his post-practice media availability yesterday:
And Nene also addressed the media to discuss his injury and how he plans to deal with it:
The Live Chat kicks off at 7pm tonight, where I'll be chatting from behind the hoop at Wells Fargo Center. Remember to use #WizSixers when tweeting!