Philly is in DC on Monday night to try and conclude their first-round series. Currently up 3-0 for the first time since 1985, they are a win away from their first sweep since anybody on their roster was born. They have put up a good front and are looking like a very dangerous team at the moment. Watch out.
If they can just pick up the victory Monday, it will be over, and they’ll get some rest, beginning to watch Knicks-Hawks more closely. The winner of that series would put up a tougher fight than the lackluster Wizards have through three games, so they’d best be ready. The time off will give everybody a chance to gather themselves and heal more.
The Wizards have tried; they really have. With Joel Embiid out of the picture, these teams would be a lot more even. But you can’t just take a superstar out of the equation. The big man has gotten all of Washington’s bigs into foul trouble and made their job of defending him very difficult.
Russell Westbrook has been trying, with Bradley Beal doing a lot of scoring. It’s quite clearly not enough, and the season is probably over for them. Kudos to DC for making the playoffs at all after once being 17-32, though.
Odds: Monday’s spread is set at PHI -7.5. The DC moneyline is +260, while it’s -315 for Philly.
Sixers Look to End It
One more win and Philly is back into round two. A season ago, injuries played a part in their sweep against Boston. Ben Simmons wasn’t there, and they never had a natural point guard good enough to run the offense. The team is much better off with him back, and they now have somebody to ensure maximum touches for Embiid.
The defense has been a big part of the team’s success. They have no weak link on that end of the floor in the starting five, and they bring Dwight Howard and Matisse Thybulle to keep the energy up, too. They have got a solid depth chart, with George Hill also making some nice contributions.
If they want to end this, just feed Embiid and watch Tobias Harris work from 20 feet and in. A win is likely.
Washington’s Last Stand?
One win. That is all they need. If they can outlast the opponent, DC avoids the sweep and perhaps gets some vindication. Making it through the play-in was not easy for Washington. But they did it. They’d probably feel better about themselves if they can take just a single game, though.
Down 0-3, it’s going to be tough. There has never been a comeback from 3-0 down in the NBA Playoffs, and there probably won’t be one here either. Russ and Beal can play as hard as they want. But you can’t teach height. You also can’t teach guarding Embiid. He’s no ordinary big man.
They need to hit 15-20 threes and win all four quarters in order to truly have a chance. Very unlikely.
Philly Moves On
Sorry Russ, but that’s it. Hat tip to you for a great season, but it’s done now. 76ers are back in round two!
FREE PLAY: PHI -7.5
MONEYLINE: PHI -315
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