Aside from some officiating shenanigans, events generally unfolded as expected in Sunday afternoon’s Game 1. When he was allowed to remain on the court, Joel Embiid scored through multiple defenders with ease and hit fadeaway jumpers from every side of the court. Tobias Harris took advantage of Washington’s small lineups to explode for a career playoff-high 37 points. The Wizards don’t have any answers on the current roster for either Sixer, so look for them to continue carrying the load offensively. Meanwhile, certified treasure Ben Simmons tallied a career playoff-high 15 assists and held Bradley Beal to two points on 1-of-6 shooting and three turnovers in his time on the Wizards star.
Tonight, let’s run it back, only with more Joel Embiid.
Neither side suffered any injuries in Game 1, but we’ll see if the coaches decided to make any rotational tweaks during the couple days off leading up to tonight’s game. One option thrown around in Wizards circles was starting Davis Bertans to get a little more size (while he doesn’t necessarily play big, Tobias Harris wouldn’t be able to turn around and easily shoot over him off a switch); Bertans’ outside shooting hurt the Sixers Sunday, as it so often does. The Sixers went 11 deep in Game 1, as Doc Rivers doesn’t seem to have settled on his guard/wing rotation. Shake Milton was dreadful in his 10 minutes of action. Furkan Korkmaz looked very rusty in his five minutes, the first playing time for Furk in weeks due to a sprained ankle. Rookie Tyrese Maxey flashed in his seven minutes, and Doc heaped praise on him this week, saying he expects Maxey will earn himself more minutes.
Things aren’t especially complicated for the Sixers in this series. They have the horses to win this race; they just need to go out and play to their capability. After winning Game 1 with essentially one hand tied behind their back in the form of a foul-saddled Embiid, it sure would be fun to see what this group could do tonight fully unleashed. Take care of business and head down the I-95 corridor with a 2-0 series lead.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards
When: 7:00 pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia; NBA TV
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic