NBA Playoff Picks - Monday, May 31
One of the major questions coming into this postseason centered around juts how real the Eastern Conference’s top seed was.
After all, the Sixers may have outshone the rest of the East, but that only meant staying ahead of a consistently banged up Brooklyn squad and the incredibly inconsistent Bucks. Their net rating on the year was 5th in the league, and the number itself – positive 5.5 – was good but not elite. They sported a top-two defense but an offense that was barely in the top half of the league. Even now, there is an assumption they will be underdogs in the conference finals against either Brooklyn or Milwaukee, assuming they get there.
It seems many of these concerns were overblown. Following a Game 1 win that was never really in doubt but that failed to cover the spread by a point nonetheless, Philly has won the last two games by 54 points combined, including Saturday’s affair in Washington. We’ve been reminded that this is a different team with a healthy and motivated Joel Embiid, who led the Sixers to 39 wins and 12 losses in games he played.
His regular season on court net rating of positive 12.0 has been dwarfed in the playoffs, during which the Sixers have outscored the Wizards by an obscene 68 points in the 84 minutes he has played.
Yes, they’ve been outscored by seven in the 60 minutes he’s sat, which raises the slim possibility of a backdoor cover if Game 4 gets out of hand, but this line is small enough to quash such fears. The Wizards revealed their waning motivations early Saturday, giving up 30 points and going down 16 at home in just the first eight minutes of action.
Today will be no different.
76ers vs. Wizards Pick
The Pick: 76ers -8 @ -110 (Click to bet)
Expert 76ers vs. Wizards Predictions
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