Wizards Rout Sixers Despite Embiid’s 32

NBA: MAY 05 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 3 – Celtics at 76ers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) looks toward the net during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers faced off against Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards in a Monday matinee in D.C. The Sixers lost 117-98 in a game where they looked sluggish from the start. Philadelphia was led by Joel Embiid while the Wizards had a balanced scoring attack with seven guys in double figures. Take a look at some observations from today’s matchup:

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid started the game aggressively on offense, scoring 11 first-quarter points. He went to the line often in the first period, getting Wizards starting center Daniel Gafford in foul trouble early. The big fella continued his dominance on the offensive end and tallied 32 points. He extended his streak of 30 point road games to 11 games.

On defense, Embiid seemed a step slow throughout the first half, even trying to contest a Kyle Kuzma dunk late and got dunked on. He gave up some layups and didn’t contest shots as aggressively as usual. Once he started playing aggressively in the second half, he picked up some ticky-tack fouls. 

Team Defense

Turns out that missing some of your best perimeter defenders can hurt the team’s defense. With Danny Green and Matisse Thybulle out dealing with injuries, the Sixers don’t have many perimeter defenders left on the roster. Charlie Brown Jr gave the 76ers some good minutes off the bench defensively.

The team’s first-quarter defense was non-existent, giving up 38 points. All afternoon, rotations seemed a step slow, and hustle just wasn’t there. Head Coach Doc Rivers tried out some 2-3 zone, but the team just didn’t have the juice.

Effort & Energy

The effort and energy weren’t there at the beginning of the game for the 76ers. Seemed like all the rotations were slow, and they were sleep-walking through the game. It gave off similar vibes to the recent game against the Charlotte Hornets. It was the Sixers’ 3rd game in 4 days so that energy they spent coming back in Miami could have drained them.

The Sixers return to the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night to play the Orlando Magic at 7PM.

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