What the Sixers should do to beat the Wizards

Sixers center Spencer Hawes. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

The Sixers will look for the second win in as many games tonight when they face the Washington Wizards down in the nation’s capital.

Here’s a look at a few keys to the game for the Sixers.

+ Keep sharing the ball. The team did a very good job of moving the basketball in the season-opening win over the Miami Heat. Shot distribution was good, probably right where coach Brett Brown envisions it being most of the season. That has to remain the same. If someone on this team is taking more than 20 shots in a game it’s probably not going to be benefial.

+ Protect the paint. Against Miami, the Sixers gave up 16 three-pointers (on 40 attempts). Be ready for it fans, that is probably going to be the norm as Brown prefers for his squad to collectively protect the paint first, get out on long-range shooters second.

+ Force John Wall to shoot from the outside. While he is incredibly quick at getting to the basket, the Sixers must limit the Wizards point guard from getting in the lane. If that happens, the offensively impatient Wall will launch some questionable shots and he isn’t all that good of an outside shooter.

+ Take advantage of Washington’s inside defense. While the Sixers are primarily a perimeter team, they’ll need to try to get the ball to the basket against a pretty soft Washington front line. The Wizards got outscored 56-28 in the paint against the Detroit Pistons in their season opener. Look for more dribble penetration to the rim and less kickouts for the Sixers.

+ Ride the wave. On Friday the team had an extra hop in its step when they took the court against the two-time defending champion Heat. That’s an easy thing to do in front of a full house and when LeBron James and company is the opposition. That atmosphere won’t be present tonight, though this is Washington’s home opener. The Sixers will have to find their energy from within and have it from the opening tip.

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