Game On: Wizards-Sixers preview

Game On: Wizards-Sixers preview
January 19, 2014, 7:00 pm
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Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) drives against Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Washington.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Although the Wizards blew a chance to get above .500, they have two very winnable games at home starting with Philadelphia, which has lost six of its last seven. 

TV: There is no pregame show because of the early start. The game will tip at Verizon Center at 2 p.m. ET and Wizards Postgame Live immediately afterward. Radio: 1500 AM. 106.7 FM

Last game: Wizards (19-20) lost to the Detroit Pistons 104-98 on Saturday; Sixers (13-27) lost at the Chicago Bulls 103-78 on Saturday. Season series: Tied at 1.

Last meeting: Washington had 32 assists on 43 field goals as they snapped a five-game losing streak in Philadelphia with a 116-102 victory on Nov. 6.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Nene, C Marcin Gortat. Sixers –- PG Michael Carter-Williams, SG James Anderson, SF Evan Turner, PF Thaddeus Young, C Spencer Hawes.

[RELATED: Nene tired of the .500 talk]

Entry passes: 1). Sixers have punished the Wizards in the paint previously, so limiting easy baskets and second-chance points is paramount. 2). Ariza is 15-for-54 from three-point range, 27.7%, since Jan 1. 3). Carter-Williams has had 10 turnovers in his last two games, and has shot just 6-for-29. 4). After shooting 11-for-15 from the foul line in consecutive games, Nene reverted to his recent form by going 4-for-10 vs. Detroit. 5). Hawes' three-point shooting ability means Gortat can't fall asleep nor can his help in rotations. 

X-factors: The status of PF Trevor Booker (left ankle sprain) is unclear as of late Sunday afternoon. If he's not able to come off the bench, it'll have to be Jan Vesely or Kevin Seraphin instead. ... Anderson (back), F Brandon Davies (right pinkie) and G Troy Wroten (right ankle) are banged up. Wroten's seems to be the most serious. 

He said it: “You come in at halftime up eight and within the first five minutes we were down one, we lose that lead and get the first timeout call, that’s tough. Somehow, again, we have to get a better focus of coming out (for the third quarter vs. Detroit). Especially when you have a lead like that. Just try to go out and get your first four or six points and all of a sudden you’re at 14, and as the opponent you’re thinking, ‘Wow,’ instead of it being the other way around where they make their first two or three shots, now it’s a two-point game. Now they’re up leading again. But we have to move on from this one." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman

Around the bend: The Wizards likely will practice Tuesday before playing their last of a five-game homestand vs. the Boston Celtics on Wednesday (CSN, 7).

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