When: Wednesday, June 2 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington locally, NBA TV elsewhere
How to listen: 1500 AM, Wizards app, SiriusXM
Wizards: Deni Avdija (Ankle, Out); Thomas Bryant (Knee, Out), Davis Bertans (Calf, Out)
76ers: Joel Embiid (Knee, Doubtful)
What to watch for
The Wizards are looking for their second consecutive win with their backs against the wall. They win and the series heads back to Washington for Game 6. Lose and it’s the offseason.
Let’s look a little deeper than that though and understand that Washington is heading into this game without sharpshooter Davis Bertans, who was in a groove in Game 4 until he suffered a calf strain which he will sit out the next four to six weeks for. Hopefully Raul Neto finds his groove back since he’s been shooting poorly from three. Washington can also use another hot stretch from Rui Hachimura. And finally, Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal have shot poorly from three in the playoffs. If they can improve their efficiency (especially Beal from three), then things get interesting.
And to stay on the same line regarding shooting efficiency, Westbrook has been shooting just 32.8 percent from the field in the postseason. He needs to shoot toward his regular season rate of 43.9 percent to give this team a better shot of pulling away with a second upset.
As for the Sixers, they still have plenty of talent without Joel Embiid if he cannot play in Game 5 which is likely. But without him, the Sixers are more vulnerable as we saw last Monday.
If Ben Simmons gets his free throw shooting up toward 70 percent (and he should know that the Hack-A-Simmons is coming for him) and Tobias Harris keeps scoring the way he has all series, then expect the home crowd to celebrate a first round series tomorrow night.