The Philadelphia 76ers' first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets was far more interesting than most people expected, but after a matchup that saw all sorts of drama, including ejections in Game 4 and 5, the Sixers are moving on. They crushed the Nets in Game 5, beating them 122-100 to win the series, 4-1.
Joel Embiid was back in the lineup once again after dealing with knee soreness throughout the series, and had another strong game, finishing with 23 points and 13 rebounds. After jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first few minutes, the Sixers never looked back, and coasted the rest of the way.
Philly will now move on to face the No. 2 seed in the East, the Toronto Raptors. Like the Sixers, the Raptors also suffered a surprising Game 1 loss, but won the next four games of their first-round series with the Orlando Magic. It should be quite the entertaining series with how much talent will be on the floor.
How healthy is Embiid's knee?
Joel Embiid's health is always a concern for the Sixers, but especially in recent weeks, as he's dealt with a sore knee. Embiid was on the injury report for every single game this series, and even sat out Game 3. But save for an inefficient Game 1, he was pretty impressive, averaging 24.7 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks over the series.
The question for the Sixers moving forward, is how healthy is Embiid's knee? They'll have a few days off until the start of the second round against the Raptors, which will be useful but unlikely to fully solve the problem. Up against a dynamite Raptors team, the Sixers will not only need Embiid on the floor, but need him at his best.
Sixers get last laugh in battle with Dudley
Jared Dudley played his part to perfection in this series, acting as an irritant in the press and on the court, while also providing some solid play as a stretch four. In Game 4, in particular, he started a scuffle with Joel Embiid that ended up getting both himself and Jimmy Butler ejected. And taking another team's star with you in a double ejection is just about as good as it gets as a role player in a playoff series.
But as they were always likely to do, the Sixers got the last laugh. Not only did they win the last four games of the series to advance, 4-1, but Dudley finished with 0 points in Game 5 of Tuesday night. That's a tough way to go out.
Nets miss Harris' shooting
A few seasons ago, when Joe Harris was riding the end of the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they dominated the Eastern Conference, it would have been pretty much impossible to imagine that he would one day be key to a playoff series. But that he was in the first round against the Sixers.
Since his days on the Cavs, Harris has turned himself into a really solid role player thanks to his elite shooting ability from behind the arc. This season, he led the league in the regular season at a ridiculous 47.4 percent, and was an important part of the Nets' offense. But against the Sixers, his shot disappeared. After going 3-of-4 from 3 in the Nets' Game 1 win, Harris went just 1-of-17 from downtown. There were plenty of other reasons for the Nets' collapse after Game 1 -- namely, the Sixers are way more talented -- but Harris going ice cold certainly didn't help.