Washington Wizards
+265
-330
Philadelphia 76ers
Sun, May 23 - 1:00p ET   |   TNT   |   Wells Fargo Center
By Landon Smith

Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia 76ers NBA Playoffs Preview and Free Picks

Washington Wizards Will Try to Get a Win When Meet Philadelphia 76ers from Wells Fargo Center - NBA Basketball Match Preview and Prediction Game on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

Preview, Prediction and Picks

The seeded Philadelphia 76ers are hoping that an entire season's momentum will be enough to fire a Washington Wizards team that used its own late-season momentum just to make the playoffs.

Both teams announce their first-round streak in the Eastern Conference as the Sixers host eighth-seeded Washington in the first game of their best streak Sunday afternoon.

The 76ers finished the regular season 49-23 and spent most of the season at the top of the Eastern standings (93 days total and 24 of the last 35 days of the regular season) and pushed the Brooklyn Nets' streak forward. .

Meanwhile, the Wizards defied the odds in the second half of the season to clinch last place in the playoffs in the East with a 142-115 win on a play-win or return home to Indiana after a 34- regular season. 38.

Going 17-32 on April 5, the Wizards had only a 0.6% chance of making the playoffs, according to ESPN. Washington has doubled its winning streak over the past 23 games and finished 17-6 to secure a spot in the play-in round.

After losing to Boston in the seventh-seeded play-in game, the Wizards rallied and netted in a 142-115 blowout of the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. Bradley Beal scored a record 25 points and Russell Westbrook added 18 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds.

Westbrook and Beal averaged 53.5 points between them during the regular season and both have proven to be thorns on the 76ers' side.

Beal posted a career-high 60 in a 141-136 loss to Philadelphia on Jan. 6 and averaged 36.7 points in three games against the 76ers this season. Westbrook led all scorers with 25 in the teams' last meeting, a 127-101 loss to Philadelphia, on March 12.

Philadelphia has its own two-headed monster in MVP finalist Joel Embiid and defensive player of the year finalist Ben Simmons. Embiid averaged 30 points and 9.7 rebounds when the 76ers won two of their three regular-season games with the Wizards.

When the 76ers' starting lineup of Embiid, Simmons, Tobias Harris, Danny Green and Seth Curry was intact this season, they were nearly unbeatable at 27-5 and, at home, 16-0.

76ers forward Matisse Thybulle (hand) missed the last four games of the regular season, but was fully involved in training before the playoffs. Embiid (non-COVID illness), Simmons (back) and Green (hip) were excluded from Philadelphia's regular season finale on May 16, but are expected to be on the roster for Game 1.

Washington will not have forward Deni Avdija (fractured right fibula) and center Thomas Bryant (torn anterior cruciate ligament) for his playoff career.

 

WINNER: Philadelphia 76ers @ -330

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By Landon Smith, on 1:00p ET