The Washington Wizards literally got their 15 minutes of fame in Game 5. First, a knuckle-headed fan ran onto the court during the team’s 122-114 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Then chart-busting rapper Meek Mill put them on blast heading into Game 5.
The Wizards trail the top-seeded Sixers 3-1 in their best-of-seven playoff series. Joel Embiid is listed doubtful for Game 5 as the scene shifts back to Philly where Meek Mill is bound to have a court-side seat. The “Dreams & Nightmares” artist is a huge Sixers fan while boasting a close friendship with Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin. Expect Meek Mill to have an extra-wide grin on his face should his hometown team close out the series tonight. He promised an “outro” for the Wizards after they leveraged his song lyrics in Game 4.
Remember, Meek Mill was the ceremonial “Bell Ringer” in an emotional scene at Wells Fargo Center in 2018. Rubin grabbed the Philly native from prison and whisked him straight to the arena to pump the crowd up. Meek Mill has never been one to hide his Sixers’ fandom, plus he reportedly tried to recruit James Harden to Philadelphia last year, per The Athletic. And Meek Mill’s “Dreams & Nightmares” was the soundtrack to the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl championship.
The latest Sixers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Sixers newsletter here!
Philly Media Outlet Takes Aim at D.C.
Famous hip-hop stars weren’t the only ones taking aim at Washington. NBC Sports Philadelphia piggy-backed off a tweet from their sister company, NBC Sports Washington, which hyped up being able to play “Wizards basketball in June for the first time since 1979.”
The organization traces its roots back to the old Washington Bullets and they won the NBA championship in 1978. The Philly media outlet Photoshopped an image of a new banner in Capital One Arena, one reading: “We Played Basketball in June 2021.” Savage burn.
Sixers Preparing for Life Without Embiid
The results of an MRI on Embiid’s right knee were never made public, yet optimism remains high that he’s fine. There is a theory floating around that the Sixers might just be staying extra cautious with their All-Star center and resting him. They know they can beat Washington without Embiid. It makes sense considering how valuable Embiid is to their championship aspirations.
Veteran Danny Green said everyone in the locker room believes there is enough firepower to get it done with the big man on the bench. The Sixers went 10-11 overall without Embiid in the lineup this season.
“We’ve had practice, we’ve had games, we’ve had [games] throughout the season, scenarios where we’ve had him gone from our lineup,” Green said after Game 4. “Obviously, he’s a big part of what we do. He averaged 30 [points] and 10 [rebounds], that’s a lot of points and rebounds missing.
“And paint protection, shot-blocker for us and a guy who draws double teams and gives us open shots. But we’ve been in scenarios where we haven’t had him so we need to get back to ourselves, back to our identity and back to that phase where, that mindset, where we didn’t have him. It starts on the defensive end of the floor.”