The Wizards barely showed up in their return to the court on Tuesday following the All-Star break, losing 113-96 to the Pacers. Wednesday night in Philadelphia, they have a chance to get back on track.
This is the fourth and final matchup vs. the Sixers for Washington, which won the first two meetings between the teams, and dropped the most recent one on Jan. 5. It took some time, but Doug Collins has vastly improved the Sixers. After losing 13 of its first 16 contests, Philadelphia has been playing solid basketball, and enter this game at 27-29, having won seven of its last 10.
The Sixers sit seventh in the Eastern Conference, and are fighting for playoff position with the Wizards last opponent, Indiana. The Sixers -- who have already matched their win total from last season -- could in some senses serve as a model for the Wizards in their rebuilding process. Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday is a guy who turned a strong finish last season into a step forward this year.
Meanwhile, it'll be interesting to see how the Wizards respond after looking listless last night against the Pacers. As I wrote earlier today, it's going to get ugly this season if last night represents the effort that Washington brings night in and night out.