Doc Rivers, Sixers praise Joel Embiid for dominance in win over Wizards

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The Philadelphia 76ers entered this playoff series as the overwhelming favorites and it makes sense. They are the No. 1 seed in the East and they have a serious MVP candidate in Joel Embiid leading the way.

The big fella went to work on Saturday as he had 36 points and eight rebounds to lead the Sixers to a 132-103 Game 3 win over the Washington Wizards to take a 3-0 lead in the series. The win now puts Philadelphia in position for their first playoff sweep since 1985.

Embiid went to work all night long as the Wizards really had no big man to really stop him. Washington had to go single coverage against him because the Sixers were knocking down their 3-pointers and the star big man went to work.

“We talked about it before the game,” said coach Doc Rivers. “We told him that they’re gonna do one of two things. It’s gonna be single coverage and you have to be extremely aggressive or they’re gonna be extremely aggressive with the traps and you have to be patient.”

The Wizards did not send too many double teams in this one and the Sixers feasted off of that. Embiid went to work early and often and he was able to have another dominant performance. Philadelphia shooting 17-for-33 from deep helped in that regard.

“They were a little bit hesitant with the double teams, but there were times where I didn’t really feel it and I felt like it was 1-on-1 and I took advantage of it,” said Embiid. “If we’re making shots and you double, that’s an easy way to find a solution. If we’re also making shots, you’re scared to leave those shooters that leaves me 1-on-1, and that’s also a hard decision to make. I guess that’s on then to make that choice.”

Embiid also was able to step out and knock down three shots from deep on four attempts as he was able to really make a difference in that area on the offensive end. That helps space the floor and it gives Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris to be able to go to work. He was able to do it all in this one on Saturday.

“That helps out myself, that helps out everybody,” said Harris. “Especially in pick-and-rolls where I’m going downhill and the bigs have to worry about getting back out to a guy making a 3-pointer, but also a guy who can go by you and dunk on you at the same time. It’s something that we’ve been working on all year long of being able to figure out where we can find our spots offensively out there.”

The Sixers will now go for the sweep on Monday and look to move on to Round 2 and get ready for their next opponent.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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