The Philadelphia 76ers (3-0) look to wrap things up against the Washington Wizards (0-3) with Game 4 this Monday night. The one-seed 76ers have thoroughly beaten the undersized Wizards and will be -360 betting favorites to move on to the second round. Washington is +300 to save their season.
The Sixers’ star duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have feasted on the helpless Wizards, who apart from being unable to contain them, have struggled to generate consistent offense. Philadelphia now looks for its first four-game sweep since 1985.
76ers: It’s Not Broke…
Don’t fix it. The Philadelphia 76ers beat up the Wizards on both ends of the court as the team scored at will from both the paint and three-point line. Philadelphia shot 58.6% including 51.5% from three. In fact, the team hit more threes (17) than it did free throws (13).
The Sixers’ starters combined for 100 of their 132 points including getting an easy 36 from Embiid who shot 14-of-18 and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Simmons led the team with nine assists and added 14 points, while Tobias Harris had a double-double with 20 points and 13 boards.
If there would be anything to nitpick, it would be the discrepancy between the team’s starters and its bench. Every time the starters sat, the Wizards would outscore the Sixers’ reserves. But overall, Philadelphia is in peak form.
Wizards: One Last Spell
It was fun while it lasted, but the Washington Wizards’ season is coming to an end. The Wizards had a furious run led by Russell Westbrook to make the playoffs. However, the bare bones nature of the team is being exposed as Westbrook’s and Bradley Beal’s efforts are amounting to nothing.
Both guards combined for 51 points with Westbrook putting up a triple double. They scored 28 of the team’s 58 points at the half. But Beal only went 1-of-8 from three and the team as a whole shot just 22.9% from beyond the arc, a problem that persists from Game 2.
Washington is simply struggling with getting good looks against a frisky and large Sixers team. And that size has worked against them on the other end as well. It’s hard to imagine how the Wizards beat the Sixers, but maybe they can conjure up a spell.
Pick: Rinse and Repeat
For the Philadelphia 76ers, they just need to stick to what they’ve been doing for the past two games. For the Washington Wizards, they will need to find a way to better create opportunities for everyone not named Beal or Westbrook.
Philadelphia would be more than happy to let the duo score as many points as they can if it meant another blowout win. Washington barely got any help from anyone else and while their shooting woes continued, the Sixers outrebounded the Wizards 51 to 41.
Westbrook and Beal will do everything in their power to keep Washington in it. But as the two games have shown, it won’t be enough. Philadelphia may not have a 68.4 effective field goal percent (eFG%) again but its defense will continue to dominate.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -360
Bonus Pick: Hot and Cold
The NBA betting odds are even more skewed towards the Sixers, but don’t expect their hot shooting to continue even with Washington’s porous defense. The best example of that would be the streaky G/F Danny Green who has been known to have big shooting games, then disappear right after.
Green hit five three-pointers in Game 3 but he’s hit two or fewer threes in a game for half his season. He’s also hit just one or none in a third. The Sixers win regardless of Green’s shooting.