76ers move to the next round; Wizards have questions about future

The Philadelphia 76ers are moving on to the Eastern Conference semifinals after defeating the Wizards 129-112 in Game 5 of their first-round series on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia wins the series 4-1.

The 76ers will begin their second-round series with the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday in Philadelphia.

Without Joel Embiid, who is day-to-day with a small tear in his right meniscus, Philadelphia had six players in double figures. Seth Curry led the way with a playoff career-high 30 points, Ben Simmons had a triple-double with 19 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, and rookie Tyrese Maxey added 13 points off the bench.

“It was what you would call an all-hands in, team win, for sure,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said after the game.

Philadelphia will continue to need all hands in if Embiid can’t play against the Hawks. He’s their best player, and makes this team go.

The 76ers have a team that can make the Finals, but that won’t be possible without a healthy Embiid.

Regarding the Wizards, heading into their April 7 game against the Magic, Washington was 17-32 and 13th in the Eastern Conference. Washington rallied with the second-best winning percentage in the league from April 7 to finish 17-6 in the final 23 games of the season.

This team overcame COVID, injuries, and everything else to make the playoffs, but there could be some changes in the offseason. Head coach Scott Brooks five-year contract has expired, and his future with the team is uncertain.

Russell Westbrook, who started his career with Brooks in OKC, would like him to return, while Bradley Beal said, “That’s out of my hands.”

Beal, 27, can become a free agent after next season(player option), so they have to convince him to stay, but as he said after the loss to Philadelphia, he is in control.

Ultimately, I’m in control,” Beal said. “I think that’s my biggest thing. People are going to report whatever they want, but I know where my mind is, and I know if it’s not coming from the horse’s mouth, then it’s going to be rumors. I expect them. S—, they’re starting now.”

Washington is stuck at this point. They are too good to get a high lottery pick but not good enough to contend. It’s almost like they have to determine what direction they want to go in. If Beal is committed to staying, they need to try to get players to win now. However, if Beal wants out, they need to move him, Westbrook(if possible), and try to rebuild. 

What happens next for the Wizards should be very interesting, and whatever Beal wants could determine Washington’s future.

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