The things you stumble on while simultaneously trying to barbecue hamburgers in the rain during a holiday weekend.
1. Plus/minus for first three games of this series/Sixers starters: Joel Embiid +68, Ben Simmons +63, Seth Curry +60, Danny Green +55, Tobias Harris +42. Total +288. Average +57.6.
2. Plus/minus for first three games/Wizards starters: Raul Neto/Davis Bertans -65, Bradley Beal -55, Rui Hachimura -49, Alex Len -41, Russell Westbrook -40. Total -251. Average -50.2.
3. Neto started Games 1 and 2 (-31), Bertans started Game 3. His -34 was the worst in a single game in the series. Danny Green’s +32 in Game 3 was the best.
4. Monday’s line opened with the Sixers favored by 7.5 points, up from the 5.5 points they were favored by when Saturday’s Game 3 number closed. According to Dave Tuley of Vegas Stats & Information Network, favorites were 17-9 against the spread across the league entering Sunday.
5. He doesn’t have to be Steph Curry at the line, but Ben Simmons is better than 0-for-9 on free throws. Simmons shot 61% during the season, so he’s going to make one. Forgive the non-sequitur, but Al McGuire, the late Hall of Fame coach, was 0-for-7 for the Knicks in the 1953 playoffs.
6. Simmons is getting it done from the field, however. His 61.8% field-goal shooting is fourth among NBA players this postseason entering Sunday. Only Rudy Gobert (87.0%), Deandre Ayton (82.1%), and Embiid (67.4%) have been more efficient.
7. The Sixers are 4-2 all-time in Game 4 when they have a chance to sweep. Their two losses were notable. In 1983, the Bucks beat them to spoil Moses Malone’s playoff prediction of Fo’ Fo’ Fo’. It was that team’s only postseason loss. In 1967, the franchise’s other championship season, the Celtics won Game 4, denying Wilt Chamberlain what would have been the only playoff sweep in his historic rivalry with Bill Russell.
Tickets for Game 4 purchased directly from the Wizards are limited only to residents of Washington D.C. and surrounding areas. There is no such restriction for seats purchased on the secondary market (i.e. Stubhub), but the prices tend to be higher.
8. Because we can never get enough Wilt, Chamberlain averaged 21.6 points, 32.0 rebounds, and 10.0 assists in that five-game series. He played 239 of a possible 240 minutes. 228 of those minutes were against Russell.
9. The Sixers have never followed a season in which they were swept (last year by Boston in the Florida bubble) with a sweep. Their most recent sweep was in 1985 when they broomed Milwaukee.
10. Wizards sniper Bradley Beal is just 3-for-20 on three-point shots (15.0%). In three regular-season games against the Sixers, he was 11-for-20 (55.0%).
11. Tobias Harris is one victory away from just his second playoff series win. The only other in his 10-year career was in 2019 when the Sixers beat Brooklyn in the first round. Harris is averaging 25.3 points this series, up from the 19.5 he put up during the regular season.
» READ MORE: Lieutenant Colonel John Ira Mulzac Collection
12. As we salute our military this weekend, let’s raise a glass for Lt. Col. John Mulzac, who served as a Tuskegee Airman. Mr. Mulzac, who was Harris’s maternal grandfather, passed away in 2015.
Source: Inquirer research, Basketball-Reference.com. Statistics through Saturday.