76ers vs. Wizards: Live Updates From Sixers' Third Seeding Game
The Philadelphia 76ers' seeding season is moving along quickly. On Wednesday, the Sixers will face off against the Washington Wizards for the team's third regular-season game of the restart of the 2019-2020 NBA season.
Despite many saying the Sixers had it easy for the final stretch of the regular season, Brett Brown and his guys have surely made it difficult for themselves. This past Saturday, the 76ers had an opportunity to advance to the fifth seed with a win over the Indiana Pacers, but Philly had no answers for T.J. Warren and company.
On Monday, as the Sixers were looking to bounce back against the San Antonio Spurs, they nearly had a similar collapse. A strong third quarter in both games gave the Sixers hope in running away with a win -- but struggling defensively in the fourth has been the Sixers' most significant flaw so far down in Orlando.
"It stinks," as Sixers head coach Brett Brown put it simply on Monday night, despite defeating the Spurs. The Sixers have an opportunity to boost their confidence against a shorthanded, lesser talented Washington Wizards team on Wednesday afternoon -- but will they make it harder on themselves by taking the inferior team lightly? Follow along to find out. Here, we'll offer live updates throughout the day, beginning with some notes from Brett Brown's pregame press conference.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards
Time: 4:00 PM EST.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Odds: 76ers -10.5, O/U 230.5
Broadcast: NBA TV, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Sixers Injury Report
- Glenn Robinson III (hip): Doubtful
- Mike Scott (knee): Out
Wizards Injury Report
- Garrison Mathews (NWT): Out
Kyle O'Quinn is Back
Sixers veteran reserve Kyle O'Quinn was a surprising addition to the team's injury report on Monday. O'Quinn wasn't dealing with an injury setback, however. Instead, the veteran center missed his mandatory COVID-19 test on Sunday, which automatically ruled him as ineligible for Monday's game versus the Spurs. After testing negative on Tuesday, though, O'Quinn is officially back with the team on Wednesday.
Brett Brown's Pregame Notes
- What is going wrong defensively? "If you go to the first half of both of those games, I think we kind of cruise through it," Brown claims. "In the third period in both games [the defense is pretty good]. Then in the closeout period, we've been terrible and it starts with stuff as simple as just the ability to guard their men."
- On the combination of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: "I think our defense goes completely through those two," Brown said. "I think of Joel and Ben as our best players. As of elite, prime defensive targets -- they always get the key matchups. I'm looking for those two especially to demand that our defense improves. I continue to want to grow them more in pick and rolls -- Ben with the ball and Joel setting screens. You'll see that more tonight."
- Brett Brown is looking to cut the rotation down from ten to nine guys as early as Wednesday. For the eight seeding games, Brown wanted to keep ten guys involved, then shift to a nine-man rotation once the playoffs start, but now he's changing his mind as he wants to go into the postseason with a rhythm.
Sixers Rule Out Glenn Robinson III
Ever since the second scrimmage game a couple of weeks ago, veteran wing Glenn Robinson III has been dealing with a hip pointer. Although he's practiced pretty much every day since his injury occurred, the Sixers haven't allowed Robinson III to play in any games. The trend remains the same on Wednesday as he's once again ruled out against the Washington Wizards.
Sixers' Starting Lineup
PG: Shake Milton
SG: Josh Richardson
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: Ben Simmons
C: Joel Embiid
Shake Milton Keeping up With the Threes
Shake Milton took what Brett Brown considered to be one of the biggest shots of his career against the Spurs on Monday. It was a game-winning three, and that's how he ended the game. Today, he gets the Sixers' first points with a three.
Ben Simmons Three Sighting
For the first time since the first scrimmage a couple of weeks ago, Ben Simmons attempted another corner three. It didn't go in, but it's always good to see the third-year All-Star attempt to expand his shooting range.
Simmons Racks up Some Early Fouls
Monday night wasn't great for Ben Simmons as he got into early foul trouble. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Simmons was a foul away from going to the bench for the rest of the game and he eventually did foul out. So far, he's got two fouls in today's game in the first quarter. He's now on the bench.
END OF FIRST QUARTER. SIXERS LEAD WIZARDS 26-20.
Alec Burks Made Brett Brown's Rotation. . . For now
Before the game today, Brett Brown said there was a good chance he was going to roll with a nine-man rotation, as opposed to a ten-man rotation to get the team ready for playoffs. As Alec Burks is the latest player to sub in, it seems he's the ninth man in the rotation. Here are the nine players involved: Milton, Simmons, Richardson, Harris, Embiid, Thybulle, Korkmaz, Horford, and Burks.
Who is Missing?
The tenth guy who seems to be left out of Brown's rotation is point guard, Raul Neto. Although Neto received playing time in the last two games, his presence added to a crowded point guard position. Offensively and defensively, Neto was inconsistent. For Brown, it was probably difficult to have Neto cut into Alec Burks' minutes as the former Warrior is doing a solid job for the Sixers down in the bubble.
END OF SECOND QUARTER. SIXERS LEAD WIZARDS 54-47.
The Leaders at Half
Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson are leading the Sixers in scoring. Embiid is 5-10 from the field with 11 points. Richardson is shooting well as he's 4-5 from the field with ten points. Furkan Korkmaz is leading the bench in scoring with seven points. As expected, Embiid and Simmons lead the team in rebounds.
I guess you can't hit every shot every game, but the NBA should seriously re-consider the floor mics.
What's Going on With the Sixers' Defense?
The 76ers like to be recognized as one of the NBA's best teams defensively. So far, they haven't been anything close to that down in the bubble -- especially in the fourth quarter. However, they are struggling on defense early today as the Wizards have managed to come back and tie it up in the third.
Ben Simmons Heads to the Locker Room
Simmons didn't have a moment where he went down, but after passing the ball out, Simmons came out after an offensive foul was committed by Al Horford. Simmons slowly walked back into the locker room with the team's medical staff.
Simmons is out
According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ben Simmons has a left knee injury and is out for the remainder of the game.
END OF THIRD QUARTER. SIXERS LEAD WIZARDS 77-74
A Promising Update From Woj
ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski offered a promising update regarding Ben Simmons. According to Woj, there is no swelling or pain in his left knee. The ESPN Insider considers the update to be "encouraging."
Shake Milton is Looking Sharp
That Pacers game feels like forever ago now. As Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris continue to do their thing offensively, Sixers point guard Shake Milton is also looking sharp late in the game as Philly is attempting to pull away with less than three minutes left to go in the fourth. In 25 minutes of action, Milton has 14 points as he's 3-5 from deep.
END OF GAME. SIXERS DEFEAT WIZARDS 107-98.