All-Star Sixers center Joel Embiid showed off his MVP-caliber bona fides with his play in Game 3 of Philadelphia’s first-round series against the Wizards, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Embiid scored his efficient 36 points in a variety of ways. He shot 14-of-18 from the floor and 3-of-4 from deep.
“Joel is a special talent,” Wizards All-Star swingman Bradley Beal acknowledged. “He plays like a guard, it’s kind of crazy.” The Sixers won in resounding fashion: the final score was 132-103.
There’s more out of the City of Brotherly Love:
- The Sixers are exploiting a notable size advantage in their series against the Wizards, observes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sixers reserve center Dwight Howard assessed his current team’s vertical edge against his former club. “I just think that the lineup we present with Joel being 7’2″, 300 [pounds is imposing],” Howard said. “We got some big guards. In our second unit, I’m a little bit undersized [6’10”] as a center, but I like the way we are set up.” The Wizards added 6’10” power forward Davis Bertans to their starting lineup and subtracted 6’1″ guard Raul Neto in an effort to counteract the size of the Sixers.
- The Sixers will return to full fan capacity for their home floor, Wells Fargo Arena, on June 2, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Bodner adds that the previously-projected return date for full crowd attendance was June 11.
- After striving to keep a Celtics superstar core happy en route to the 2008 title, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers has thus far appeared up to the task in Philadelphia, too, says Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sielski notes that Rivers and his staff’s strategy has been to bring out the best from their top player, Embiid, while accentuating the skillset of ancillary star point guard Ben Simmons. “You just communicate it to them,” Rivers said. “But everyone doesn’t have it. A lot of guys want to play the way they play, no matter what. In my opinion, that eventually doesn’t work. If everybody on every team got to play the exact same way that they only wanted to play, I don’t know if you can win that way. It’s tough.”