The Philadelphia 76ers have been a thorn in the side of the Wizards all season, winning 2 of 3 meetings. Sunday, they did them a big favor by coming from 13 points down to upset the Boston Celtics.
This sets the stage for Monday’s pivotal matchup when the No. 3 Wizards play at the Celtics. They lead the season series 2-1 and a victory would give them the tiebreaker in the event they have the same records going into the playoffs.
“We were talking about, a few guys overlooking this game. I think so, looking forward to the Washington game,” Jae Crowder told reporters after a 105-99 loss for Boston. “That’s what happens when you overlook an opponent, especially these guys.”
The Wizards (42-27) lost 96-93 to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday to drop two games out of the No. 2 spot occupied by Boston. But the loss to the Sixers puts the Celtics (44-26) just one game ahead in the loss column.
Boston played the last two games without Isaiah Thomas who stayed behind on the road trip because of a bruised knee.
The Sixers had to make the third-quarter comeback without Jahlil Okafor, who left with soreness in his right knee.
According to CSNPhilly.com’s Jessica Camerato, the Sixers Insider, Okafor will be further evaluated.
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As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.
Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.
"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."
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"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."
Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.
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Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.
"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.
Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.
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On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.
Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.
You can listen to the episode right here:
You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!