The Sixers are looking to close out their first-round NBA playoff series against the Washington Wizards Wednesday, but they’ll have to do it without their biggest star.
Joel Embiid is out for tonight’s game with a small lateral mensicus tear in his right knee after exiting Game 4 following a hard landing on his backside. All eyes will be on Ben Simmons, who has struggled from the free throw line and finished Monday night’s loss with just four field goals.
As far as facts you didn’t want to know, reporter Ed Barkowitz uncovered a dandy: Doc Rivers is the only coach in NBA history who’s watched his teams blow a 3-1 series lead three times. For what it’s worth, no NBA team has ever blown a 3-0 series lead.
For the first time since the pandemic, the Wells Fargo Center will be at full capacity for Wednesday’s game, as Philadelphia lifted coronavirus restrictions more than a week early. Masks will still be required until at least June 11. SEPTA will add Broad Street Line trips to accommodate the additional fans Wednesday night, running three Sports Express trains every 10 minutes starting at 6:08 p.m.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch Sixers-Wizards Game 5:
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards: Game 5
When: Wednesday. June 2
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Time: 7 p.m. Eastern
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia (Marc Zumoff, Alaa Abdelnaby), NBA TV (Brian Anderson, Jim Jackson, Stephanie Read)
Streaming: MyTeams app (requires cable authentication), NBA app (outside of Philadelphia, requires subscription)
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic (Tom McGinnis)
» READ MORE: Sixers-Wizards Game 5 notebook | 10 things to know
Staff writers Keith Pompey and Marc Narducci will be covering all the action live on Twitter. Notes and observations about the game will be at Inquirer.com/sixers. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Off the Dribble newsletter.
In the latest Locked on Sixers podcast, Pompey discusses Embiid’s right knee and the emotional roller coaster he creates for fans.
Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia, hosted by Amy Fadool with analysts Marc Jackson and Jim Lynam. All three return for postgame coverage, followed by Sixers Outsiders, hosted by Krystle Rich-Bell and 97.5 The Fanatic co-host Tyrone Johnson.
For fans outside of Philadelphia, pregame coverage on NBA TV begins at 6:30 p.m., hosted by Kristen Ledlow alongside analysts Lloyd Pierce and Sam Mitchell.
Sixers playoff schedule
Here is the full schedule for the first round playoff matchup between the Sixers and the Wizards:
If the Sixers defeat the Wizards, they’ll face the winner of the New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks series in the second round. The Hawks lead that series 3-1, and the teams face off in Game 5 Wednesday at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m.
The Sixers’ second-round series could begin as soon as Sunday, June 6. If either series ends up in a Game 7, the series would begin Tuesday, June 8.
Other NBA Playoff games on Wednesday night
7:30 p.m.: Game 5, Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks, TNT. Hawks lead the series 3-1.
9:30 p.m.: Game 5, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz, NBA TV. Jazz lead the series 3-1.
10 p.m.: Game 5, Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers, TNT. Series tied at 2-2.