Philadelphia have won their last four games in a row. On the other hand, the Wizards have two victories in their last two matches, including a terrific one-point win over the Brooklyn Nets.
The Philadelphia 76ers (6-1) have the best record in the NBA, while the Washington Wizards have a 2-5 record.
Recently, the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Charlotte Hornets for the second straight game with a 118-101 score. On the other hand, the Washington Wizards took an enormous 123-122 victory over Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets.
Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia 76ers Prediction: 3 key matchups to look out for
We can expect both teams to be at full strength for this matchup between a squad with the best record in the league and the other looking to catch fire. Doc Rivers has had a great start as the coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, and he has taken advantage of the talented pieces on the roster.
The Washington Wizards have struggled and lost their first five games. The following two consecutive victories, though, were welcome news for a team that could enter the NBA Playoffs with Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.
These two teams faced each other in the season-opening game for both franchises, back on December 23rd last year. The 76ers took a 113-107 victory over Washington at home.
Both rosters boast All-Star level talent and plenty of offensive firepower. On that note, let us take a look at three matchups that could be decisive in the outcome of this Eastern Conference encounter.
#1 Thomas Bryant (Washington Wizards) vs Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
Joel Embiid is the best player on the Philadelphia 76ers and is arguably a Top 5 player in the Eastern Conference right now. Philadelphia's great start to the 2020-21 NBA season has a lot to do with Embiid's contribution and his dominance.
For every Philadelphia 76ers game, Embiid's matchup is one to look out for, as opponents must try to control the Cameroonian center to have a chance of winning.
On this occasion, Thomas Bryant will be facing Embiid, and he has been playing well for the Washington Wizards. Although Embiid is established and is often recognized as one of the best big men in today's game, Bryant has been putting up good numbers in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Embiid is averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds per game and has made 52% of his field goals and 80% of his free throws.
On the other side, Bryant is putting up the best numbers of his four-year NBA career. The 23-year-old center averages 18 points and seven rebounds per game.
Additionally, Bryant has made 67% of his shots from the field and nine of his 18 attempts from the three-point line. More importantly, he leads the NBA in two-point percentage, with 72%.
In their last meeting, Embiid had 29 points and 14 rebounds and dominated Bryant, who scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds, and had five fouls in 25 minutes.
#2 Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards) vs Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
Russell Westbrook and Ben Simmons will dictate the teams' rhythm from their point guard spot.
Westbrook is still adapting to his teammates in Washington, but his energy has been tremendous in every game he has played. Even though his current shooting percentage (38%) is the worst of his regular season career, the former MVP is averaging a Triple-Double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists across five games.
Ben Simmons, on the other hand, has been great for the Philadelphia 76ers and has consistently been available, playing all seven matches so far. He is averaging 13 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists per game. Simmons has been efficient from the field, as he has made 51% of his field goals.
On Opening Night for both teams, Westbrook had a Triple-Double (21 points, 11 rebounds, and 15 assists), and Simmons had 16 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
#3 Seth Curry (Philadelphia 76ers) vs Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Bradley Beal is having another tremendous scoring year so far, and he is a nice fit at the shooting guard position with Russell Westbrook. While Beal might lead the Washington Wizards and the NBA in scoring, Seth Curry might be the best shooting specialist in today's NBA.
Beal is averaging 30 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game. His shooting splits are 46/29/86 through seven games. Curry, on the other hand, is on fire from the three-point line.
As a starter for Philly, Seth is averaging 15 points per game on just nine field-goal attempts per game. He has made 54% of his three-point shots, all his 17 free throws, and 17 of his 29 two-point shots.
In their previous matchup, Beal scored 31 points, and Curry had 13. However, the Philadelphia 76ers won the game over the Washington Wizards.
Published 05 Jan 2021, 23:43 IST