Game 5 Preview: Wizards at Sixers

John
Wall and the Washington Wizards take a road trip up to Philly tonight to face
the 76ers at 7 p.m. 

    The Wizards are 0-3 and are looking to achieve their
first win of the season tonight. John Wall leads the team in points per game,
(19) assists per game (8.7) and steals per game (2.3). His efforts have been
crucial to keeping the Wizards in games, but he needs some help if they want to
close games out better. 

    One of the Wizards' 3 losses was to this 76ers team
just 5 days ago. The Wizards controlled most of the game before the Sixers made
a furious comeback run in the 4th quarter behind Thaddeus Young and Evan
Turner. Maybe the Wizards will listen to their coach, Randy Wittman, who says
his team needs "commitment to f—ing playing defense". 

    On the other hand, the Sixers suffered their first
loss of the season two nights ago versus the Golden State Warriors. The Sixers
looked completely overmatched in that game, partially due to the superior
talent and depth that the Warriors have, and in part by the Sixers' sloppy play
on both sides of the court. They will need better production from their frontcourt,
Thaddeus and Spencer, as well as cleaner ball handling from their guards. John
Wall is a very opportunistic defender, and he will make the most of his
opportunities.

Key Matchups: 

    In this game there is only one key matchup
that will decide the game, and that is the point guard play. Will MCW be able
to contain the Wizards' leading scorer? MCW has to play smart with the ball.
Make a decision and execute, no second-guessing. Last time these two teams met
it looked like a track meet as the teams were sloppily turning the ball over
possession after possession. I predict that this game will be cleaner as long
as these two point guards handle the tempo appropriately.

Projected Starting Lineups:

Washington 

PG- John Wall

SG- Bradley Beal

SF- Trevor Ariza

PF- Nene Hilario

C- Marcin Gortat 

 

Philadelphia

PG- Michael Carter-Williams

SG- James Anderson

SF- Evan Turner

PF- Thaddeus Young

C- Spencer Hawes

 

Prediction

     I think the Sixers win tonight at home. Even
with Nene coming back from a calf injury for the Wizards tonight, his role
should be limited and he won't hurt the Sixers too much. Spencer Hawes bounces
back with a double-double (or close to it). Evan Turner continues his hot streak,
posts another 20-pointer. MCW continues to impress with 19 points, 10 assists,
7 rebounds, 3 steals. Sixers
win 107-99.