In a game that was a little too close for comfort, the Philadelphia 76ers took game 1 by a score of 125-118.
Despite shooting a mere 31% from 3, allowing 118 points, and 33 points from Bradley Beal, the Sixers managed to pull out the game 1 win behind the performances of Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris.
Ben Simmons did a masterful job getting the team involved throughout the game, ending with FIFTEEN assists that generated 35 points for the team, while only turning the ball over twice. He also held Washington guards Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, in check. When Simmons was the primary defender on Beal, Washington’s shooting guard had two points, three assists, three turnovers, while shooting 1-6 from the floor and 0-4 from deep. Simmons created turnover after turnover and countless missed shots.
He will, however, need to do a better job from the free throw line. Shooting 0-6 is not going to cut it.
The Sixers rode Tobias Harris throughout the first half of Sunday’s game. Harris finished with 37 points which was the most points scored in a Sixers playoff game since Allen Iverson in 2005.
Joel Embiid, who finished with 30 points, was in foul trouble for most of the first half. The MVP finalist picked up his third foul in the second quarter after only seeing 10 minutes of game action. Roles flipped in the 2nd half, as the Sixers rode Embiid to close out the tireless Wizards team.
If the Sixers can get consistent 25+ point performances from Harris and Embiid every night, this team will be a tough out.
Elsewhere, the Sixers defense will have to be cleaned up in game 2. Giving up 118 points in a playoff game at home isn’t an ingredient in the recipe of championship success. But with a few days to review film, it can be expected that the overall lapses in the team’s defense whether in half-court or in transition will be ironed out a bit.
The rotations between starters, Seth Curry and Danny Green, and bench guards, Tyrese Maxey and George Hill, will also be an interesting factor to monitor.
“I thought they were great. They were six good minutes. He’s going to keep earning more that would be my guess,” said Doc Rivers on Maxey’s performance after Game 1.
George Hill, Seth Curry, and Danny Green meanwhile, combined for 37 points. The contributions of the Sixers offensive firepower will once again be crucial for a Sixers win in game 2.
The Sixers will be looking to take a 2-0 lead, tonight, before heading to our nation’s capital for Game 3.
You can catch the game at 7pm on NBATV or NBC Sports Philadelphia.