Despite going 1-3 in the past week, the Washington Wizards are not the same team that was humiliated by the 76ers in a home-and-home series earlier this month.

Yes, Washington (2-14) lost to the depleted Boston Celtics on Sunday, but players are encouraged by their improved play and their competitiveness.

Will that translate to tonight’s game, when they play the 76ers (11-5) yet again?

“A big key for them and their success is their bench,” Wizards Coach Flip Saunders said of the 76ers. “Their bench production has been outstanding when you look at what Lou Williams has been able to do and Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner. Those guys really hurt us a lot. We’ve got to be able to match their bench play.”

Guard Jordan Crawford has been the Wizards’ most dependable reserve, averaging 11.3 points and 2.5 assists in 14 games off the bench. Over the last three games, Crawford is averaging 16 points per game.

The Wizards will go with the usual starting five as of late: Chris Singleton, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Nick Young and John Wall. But Saunders said he will monitor the starters’ minutes because Washington is playing its third game in four nights.

Discuss these topics and more in the comments below. You can also join the conversation on Twitter with Gene Wang (@gene_wang) and  Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee).

Tipoff: 7 p.m. TV: Comcast SportsNet; Radio:106.7 (WJFK FM).

Check out a live box score for today’s game here.