Watch live streaming coverage of the Eastern Conference first round matchup between No. 1 seed Philadelphia 76ers and No. 8 seed Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center here on Sunday. Live stream will be available on TNT Online, with the TNT Network providing the live television broadcast. Game time on TNT is set for 1:00 PM ET with the 76ers starting as an 8.0 point favorite.
Philadelphia comes into the contest as the team to beat in the series and will be tough to get past, given the talent Doc Rivers’ men have on the roster. The 76ers met the Wizards three times during the regular season and won all three so they will certainly have the phycological edge.
Nevertheless, with the likes of triple-double star Russell Westbrook and All-Star guard Bradley Beal leading the attack, Washington will back itself to steal a few games in the series.
However, I cannot see the Wizards beating Philadelphia over seven games, not with Joel Embiid and company playing so well over the course of this season.
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No. 1 PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (49-23) vs. No. 8 WASHINGTON WIZARDS (34-38, 1-1)
Season series: 76ers, 3-0.
Story line: The Wizards reward for advancing out of the East play-in tournament is a matchup with a Philadelphia team that has a No. 1 seed for the first time in 20 years. Washington simply didnt have an answer for Philly’s Joel Embiid in the three regular-season meetings; he averaged 30 points and 9.7 rebounds in those games on 60% shooting from the field, 96% from the line and if that wasnt enough he was 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Bradley Beal averaged 36.7 points in those three games, but his balky hamstring certainly isnt a great sign for Washingtons upset chances.
Key matchup: Washingtons front line vs. Embiid. The MVP finalist wont be stopped, but the Wizards obvious best hope in this series is to make somebody else beat them. If Embiid gets to his favorite spots without difficulty, this series wont last long.
Prediction: 76ers in 5.