Wizards vs. 76ers Prediction: NBA Playoffs Picks, Odds & Predictions
Wizards vs. 76ers Prediction – Sunday, May 23
The NBA Playoffs are well underway and the No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup in the Eastern Conference is a good one. The Philadelphia 76ers SHOULD win, but the Wizards have a ton of offensive firepower and are a dangerous team for an 8th seed. Let’s check out my Wizards vs. 76ers prediction.
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Where to watch Wizards vs. 76ers
Time: 12:00 pm ET
Wizards vs. 76ers
This is definitely not the matchup the 76ers wanted in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Indiana winning that final Play-In Tournament game would have been a lot better for the top seed in the East, but Washington prevailed and made it to the NBA playoffs. Which team will come ready to play for Sunday’s Game 1 of the opening round?
Washington was a really popular pick to beat the Celtics in the first game of the Play-In Tournament and take the No. 7 seed, but a 50-point performance from Jayson Tatum put a stop to that quick. They handled the Pacers and reserved the 8th seed and also probably a more favorable matchup than the No. 2 Nets.
There isn’t a ton of depth on this Wizards team, but they have the best backcourt in the NBA. Russell Westbrook has quietly been up to his old tricks while Bradley Beal finished second in the NBA in scoring. The issue is their matchup with Philly. Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle are two of the best individual on-ball defenders in the entire NBA. Both Beal and Westbrook will see a lot of them and while I assume they’ll still score, the dup will have to work for their points.
The next question for the Wizards comes down to stopping Joel Embiid. Who is going to guard him? Daniel Gafford is a good shot blocker but doesn’t have the size to really bang down low with Embiid for four quarters. Alex Len is bigger but I don’t think that’s the matchup Washington wants. It’s going to be tough for the Wizards defensively.
This will be the first meaningful game the Sixers have played in about a week after they secured the top spot in the East and sat their starters. They were the most consistent team in the conference this season and have been rewarded with the No. 1 seed.
The question for me is: Which version of Ben Simmons are we going to get? No matter what, he’s and elite defender and distributor and a great rebounder. But, can he put the ball in the basket when needed to? I don’t care if he shoots a single jump shot, but some aggression and urgency to get to the hoop from the Philadelphia point guard would do wonders.
As for Embiid, you know exactly what you’re going to get. He’s the best low-post scorer in the entire NBA, he was a frontrunner for the MVP until he got hurt and he continues to impress every time on the court. I expect big games all series from The Process.
Wizards vs. Sixers Prediction
I like this Wizards team. I like watching Beal and Westbrook together and think it’s fun when they are clicking. But, the Sixers are a whole different animal. The depth the Sixers have is just something the Wizards can’t compete with. Seth Curry, Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton all compliment Embiid and Simmons perfectly as catch and shoot players. On defense, the Sixers have three of the 10 best defenders in the entire league. I expect a statement from Embiid on Sunday and I expect a 76ers win by double digits, especially with 10,000 fans in the Wells Fargo Center for the first time in more than a year.
Wizards vs. 76ers Prediction & Pick
Sixers -7.5 @ -110 (Click to bet)