Sixers to Face Washington Wizards in First-Round of Playoffs
The Washington Wizards will face the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs after winning the play-in game Thursday over the Indiana Pacers, 142-115.
That sets up a Sunday matchup for Game 1 at 1:00 PM
Though the Wizards (34-38) had a losing record, they have played very well heading into the play-in games, they struggled in the opening game against Boston, but ran Indiana out of the building on Thursday night.
The Sixers won the season series against the Wizards, 3-0.
The Wizards can be dangerous, led by their high-scoring duo, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. The 27-year-old Beal is averaging 31.3 points, 4.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 35% from three-point range this season.
Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists, making it the second time in his career he averaged a triple-double.
While Washington has two high-profile stars, on paper, Philadelphia is a much deeper team with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris.
The Wizards will have major problems defending Embiid, who scored 90 points in the three games against Washington. Washington will use Alex Len, Robin Lopez and Daniel Gafford to defend Embiid, using up fouls, to try and slow him down.
Washington also gets contributions from two former Sixers, Ish Smith and Raul Neto. The two guards combine to average about 15 points per game in about 42 minutes per game.
It will be interesting to see how the Sixers defend Beal and Westbrook, and who is tabbed to guard them. On the flip side, Washington will have their hands full with Embiid, but it will be interesting to see what they do with Simmons.
Many Sixers fans have been waiting to see how teams will defend Simmons and if Tobias Harris can continue to play at the level he did during the regular season, especially late in games.
If the Sixers need a big shot late, who do they run their offense through? Embiid or Harris?
These have been questions all season long, we are about to find out.
Prediction: Sixers in 5
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