Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid

Overview

The Washington Wizards defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 117-98 at Capital One Arena. For Washington, Montrezl Harrell led in scoring with 18 points and 7 rebounds on 6-9 shooting from the field. On the other hand, Joel Embiid carried the 76ers with 32 points and 8 rebounds on 10-20 shooting from the field. Following this win, the Wizards improved to 23-21 on the year and are in 9th place in the Eastern Conference. As for the 76es, they fell to 25-18 and bumped down to 6th place in the East.

Philadelphia’s Horrendous Offense

The 76ers’ offense was nothing short of pathetic in today’s loss. As a team, they shot 40.7% from the field and 26.9% from beyond the arc. On top of this, Philadelphia turned the ball over 12 times. Though the numbers suggest it, these offensive struggles weren’t because of Washington’s defense. Throughout the game, Philly got many open looks in transition, from three-point land, off screens, and from Washington’s double teams on Joel Embiid. It was a matter of hitting shots, which no one on the team did well besides Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. 

Specifically, Tobias Harris had a pathetic stat line of 7 points on 3-11 shooting from the field. Not to mention, Harris also fouled out in the 2nd half. Additionally, shooters Seth Curry and Furkan Korkmaz struggled, as they shot a combined 36.8% from the field. Evidently, the Sixers were unable to get Joel Embiid support on offense, which was a significant reason for this loss.

Undoubtedly, Embiid carried Philadelphia’s nonexistent offense throughout the entire 48 minutes. Like I mentioned before, he finished with 32 points and 8 rebounds on 50% shooting from the field. Joel faced a lot of double teams and for the most part he handled them well. Further, Embiid recognized when to pass and found open teammates at the perimeter. Despite some great court vision, the 76ers were unable to hit their shots. As for Tyrese Maxey, his dribble penetration and scoring ability caused problems for Washington’s defense. At the end of the 3rd quarter, he and Isaiah Joe cut Washington’s lead down to double-digits, but the 76ers were unable to come back. In total, Maxey had 18 points on 5-10 shooting from the field.

Defense…What’s That?

Along with a terrible offensive performance, the 76ers were just as bad defensively. Washington shot 48.3% from the field and dominated in the restricted area with 50 points down low. Though Washington shot only 30.0% from three, Philadelphia’s perimeter defense was awful. The Wizards had plenty of good looks but failed to capitalize on them. These uncontested shots originated from the effectiveness of Washington’s screen setting and a lack of urgency. 

In addition to this, the Sixers defense in transition was nonexistent. This team showed no effort on the fast break and often left Embiid to fend for himself. Most significantly, Philly’s defense at the rim is what struggled the most. Montrezl Harrell and Thomas Bryant dominated the restricted area because of Andre Drummond and Joel Embiid’s poor rim protection. Joel found himself getting scored on quite often because of poor positioning and lack of effort. However, this defensive performance is understandable considering how much Embiid had to contribute offensively. 

However, if there was one positive take away from Philadelphia’s defense, it would be Charlie Brown Jr.’s play. Charlie got 23 minutes of playing time and contributed 6 points and 9 rebounds. In the absence of Matisse Thybulle, Brown was assigned to defend Spencer Dinwiddie and mainly Bradley Beal coming off of the bench. Impressively, Brown. Jr did a very good job defending Bradley Beal. He fought through screens set for Beal and contested his shots very well. Also, Brown often cut off Beal’s space to drive to the rim, which led to him passing the ball. Overall, Charlie Brown Jr. shined defensively for the 2nd consecutive game. 



The 76ers have a chance to right their wrongs on Wednesday night at 7:00pm ET (January 19th) against the Orlando Magic back in Philadelphia.