Tobias Harris and the Philadelphia 76ers try to wrap up their First Round series against the Washington Wizards in Game 5 Wednesday. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Philadelphia 76ers are six-point favorites over the Washington Wizards in Game 5
- 76ers star and NBA MVP finalist Joel Embiid is expected to miss the game with a knee injury
- A look at Wizards-76ers Game 5 along with a prediction can be found below
Likely to be without their best player, the Philadelphia 76ers will again try to close out the visiting Washington Wizards at 7pm ET Wednesday in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at the Wells Fargo Center.
The 76ers missed a chance to sweep the best-of-seven series Monday when they lost 122-114 to the Wizards in Game 4 at Washington as 8.5-point favorites. NBA MVP finalist Joel Embiid injured his right knee in the first quarter and did not return.
Favored in this game, the 76ers had won five games in a row and 13 of their previous 15. The Wizards won for just the second time in six games since the play-in tournament began.
Wizards vs 76ers Game 5 Odds
|Team||Moneyline at FanDuel||Spread||Total|
|Washington Wizards||+198||+6 (-114)||Over 230 (-110)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-240||-6 (-106)||Under 230 (-110)|
Odds as of June 1st
The Wizards’ Davis Bertans sustained a strained right calf in Game 4 and will miss the remainder of the series. Russell Westbrook (sprained right ankle) and Ish Smith (strained groin) both played after being listed as questionable going into the game.
Embiid is officially listed as questionable but multiple reports indicate he will likely sit out. Seth Curry (sprained left ankle) and George Hill (bruised left knee) are probable.
Wizards vs 76ers Projected Lineups
|Russell Westbrook||PG||Ben Simmons|
|Raul Neto||SG||Seth Curry|
|Bradley Beal||SF||Danny Green|
|Rui Hachimura||PF||Tobias Harris|
|Daniel Gafford||C||Mike Scott|
Westbrook Shakes Off Injury
The ankle injury did not seem to have any bearing on Westbrook’s performance in Game 4 as the NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles produced yet another one.
Westbrook finished with 19 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists. Though he made just 3-of-19 field goal attempts, he went 13-for-16 from the free throw line.
Russ with the steal and assist to Rui! ⼋@russwest44 | @rui_8mura pic.twitter.com/f4QGcCpJeu
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) June 1, 2021
For the series, Westbrook is averaging 17.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 12.3 assists.
Bradley Beal was the Wizards’ leading scorer with 27 points. He has had at least 25 points in all four games of the series but is shooting just 20% (5-of-25) on three-point attempts.
Rui Hachimura notched his first double-double since March 21 with 20 points and 13 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in every game of the series and has averages of 13.3 points and 7.5 rebounds.
“He’s growing up right in front of our eyes.” 🇯🇵⼋
Rui Hachimura stepped up in Game 4 with 20 points and 13 rebounds!#WizSixers | @rui_8mura pic.twitter.com/Mf48QzhFwm
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) June 1, 2021
Robin Lopez added 16 points off the bench. Daniel Gafford had 12 points in his first start of the series along with five blocked shots while also leading the team with a plus-9 as he took Alex Len’s place in the lineup.
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The 76ers were not the same in Game 4 once Embiid exited not long after having his shot blocked by Lopez on a drive to the basket.
Embiid averaged 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds during the regular season while becoming one of three MVP finalists with the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic. Through the first three games of this series, Embiid had averages of 29.3 points and 7.0 rebounds.
The mastery of Joel Embiid.
1) scans court, recognizes double coming but it’s too far away, gets up an in-rhythm fadeaway to avoid.
2) very next play: scans court, recognizes imminent double-team defender is now cheating too close to him, the pass, cash. pic.twitter.com/7UW84LGO1U
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 30, 2021
Embiid missed 21 games during the regular season and the 76ers went 10-11 in his absence. They were 39-12 when the big man played.
Tobias Harris led the 76ers in Game 4 with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. That gave him back-to-back double-doubles. He has also scored at least 20 points in three of the series’ four games.
Tyrese Maxey scored 15 points, George Hill chipped in with 14 points and Ben Simmons had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Some fans feel Simmons isn’t doing enough, though.
Love this attitude from Ben Simmons after some didn’t think he did enough in Game 1
“What y’all want? You want to win?
“I’m doing what I need to do to help my team win. I’m not trying to prove anybody wrong. I’m trying to do my job and win a championship” pic.twitter.com/MRhINMkCsr
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) May 27, 2021
While Simmons has been held below 15 points in three of the four games, he has averages of 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists. However, he is also just 5-of-20 (25.0%) from the free throw line and the Wizards consistently fouled him during the closing moments of Game 4.
All Sixers Until Game 4
The Sixers had won eight games in a row against the Wizards until Game 4.
Philadelphia won the first three games of the series by an average margin of 20.1 points. The 76ers also beat Washington in all three regular-season meetings by a 12.3 average.
Embiid is undoubtedly a big loss for the 76ers. However, they still have plenty of firepower and will be tough to beat on their homecourt with a chance to end the series.
The Pick: 76ers -6 (-106)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.