The Sixers boosted their confidence with Friday's comeback win, but they will be playing a Wizards team on a similar high.
The Wizards averaged 104.3 points per game last year (second in the NBA), but they scored 85 or fewer in three of the first four games this fall.
According to Wizards coach Eddie Jordan, the team spent an inordinate amount of time on defense after allowing 104.9 points per game last year, the second-worst total in the league. Washington hired former Sixers coach Randy Ayers, known as a defensive specialist, as an assistant.
"We worked so much on defense in the preseason and the early season that it got to the point where we had to concentrate more on offensive principles," Jordan said. "Once we got to 0-5, we really got back to working more on offense."
In their four wins, the Wizards averaged 104.5 points.
Nursing a sore left knee, point guard Gilbert Arenas missed Saturday's 109-90 Wizards victory over Portland. Arenas underwent surgery in April, and Jordan said he might have to miss an occasional game.
"It might be a few months until he is the real deal," Jordan said.
Arenas, who is averaging 22.4 points but shooting just 39 percent from the field, is expected to play tonight.
Besides Arenas, Washington has two other prolific scorers in Caron Butler (21.4 ppg.) and Antawn Jamison (19.1).
"That's a three-headed monster they have and obviously you have to contain those three," said Iguodala, who is averaging a team-high 18.3 points and will draw the defensive assignment on Butler.
As for the Sixers, Jordan said a key will be to stop them from getting out in the open court.
"When I watch them, I think of them as athletic and explosive if you allow them to be," Jordan said. "I've always known Mo to be a coach who changes the defense and gives you a lot of different looks."
The Sixers seemed to gain a bounce in their step from Friday's comeback victory, which ended a four-game losing streak. Now Cheeks' message is for the Sixers to have a short memory.
"They understood it was sort of a miracle pullout and now you have to forget about it, move on, and get ready for Washington," Cheeks said.
Notes. A Sixers team official said there was no truth to a rumor of trade talks with the Miami Heat concerning point guard Andre Miller. . . . The Sixers had only 10 players who were able to scrimmage yesterday. Besides Herbert Hill (knee) and Kyle Korver (groin), who had been out, forward Jason Smith (left ankle sprain) was limited to non-contact work. Center Samuel Dalembert did not practice after suffering a bruised left knee in Sunday's practice; he is expected to start tonight. Calvin Booth missed practice with lower back spasms.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at http://go.philly.com/deepsixer.