WASHINGTON — The 76ers’ size is something the Washington Wizards mention over and over and over again.
They talk about the Sixers’ dominance in that way with an imposing center in Joel Embiid, a towering point guard in Ben Simmons, and a height advantage at just about every position.
Dwight Howard didn’t disagree with the Wizards on Saturday morning, hours before the teams met in the Capital One Arena for Game 3 of the opening-round, best-of-seven playoff series. The Sixers were holding a 2-0 series advantage.
“I just think that the lineup we present with Joel being 7-2, 300 [pounds is imposing],” Howard said. “You got Ben being 6-11, 265 [pounds] and you got Tobias Harris at 6-11. We got some big guards. In our second unit, I’m a little bit undersized [6-10] as a center, but I like the way we are set up.”
Harris is actually 6-8. However, the Sixers do a solid job of creating switches for him. That often led to the athletic power forward being guarded by Wizards guard who are at least five inches shorter than him.
Small forward Danny Green (6-6) and shooting guard Seth Curry (6-2) round out the Sixers’ starting lineup.
To combat the Sixers’ size advantage, the Wizards tweaked their starting lineup Saturday. Forward Davis Bertans (6-10) started in place of guard Raul Neto (6-1). Bertans joined shooting guard Bradley Beal (6-3), point guard Russell Westbrook (6-3), forward Rui Hachimura (6-8), and center Alex Len (7-0).
On Wednesday, Bertans, forward Chandler Hutchinson (6-7), center Daniel Gafford (6-11), and guard Ish Smith (6-0) were the first four players off the Wizards’ bench.
The Sixers’ top four reserves were guards George Hill (6-3), Matisse Thybulle (6-5), and Shake Milton (6-5) and Howard. Furkan Korkmaz (6-7) and Tyrese Maxey (6-2), both guards, also saw considerable action off the bench.
The Sixers barely outrebounded the Wizards, 85-81, through two series games. The teams were also tied with 126 points in the paint. However, things could be trending nicely for the Sixers, considering they outscored the Wizards, 68-50, in the paint in Game 2.
» READ MORE: Sixers-Wizards Game 3 notebook | 12 things to know
But the Sixers don’t rely just on their height advantage. They’ve also gone to an all-reserve lineup, which has featured four guards and Howard.
“I like the way our lineups are set up,” Howard said. “I like the way we play. I think [it] provides a lot of different options for the defense to try to break down.
“I think our team has done an excellent job this year of really executing on offense when we play big. But also when we go small, we are able to still execute, get shots off and play great defense.”