76ers begin two-game series against the Atlanta Hawks tonight at home
Following Monday’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Philadelphia 76ers continue their home stretch tonight, facing the Atlanta Hawks in the first of a two-game series. The Hawks have been trending upward in the East, currently holding the 5th seed but have struggled recently without their star point guard Trae Young. For the Sixers, they are hoping to continue to gain ground on the Brooklyn Nets for the first seed in the Eastern Conference.
The 76ers roster has struggled with numerous injuries in the last several games, including Monday, where they missed Danny Green. It looks as though the injuries are in the rearview mirror, and Philly should have everyone ready to go for tonight. Ben Simmons has been the main culprit missing several crucial games due to illness but returned against the Thunder. Although one might think he would need time to recover, Simmons looked to be 100% immediately, having 12 points and three steals in 23 minutes on Monday.
In January, both these teams faced off, but Atlanta was able to take down the short-handed Sixers. The 76ers were without Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry and lost 112-94. Hopefully, if all three are back in action, this shouldn’t be anywhere near the same result.
For the Hawks, this will be a tough matchup without Trae Young. A week ago, Trae suffered a sprained ankle and will likely be out for another week. Even without Trae, Atlanta is still capable of hanging with the best, beating Milwaukee on Sunday. Philly will need their bench mob to step up tonight, with the Hawks’ biggest strength being their deep bench, including Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari.
This game could be a possible playoff matchup for the Sixers, depending on how the regular season ends. If Philly ends with the first seed, the Hawks are a likely matchup in the second round, having a two-game lead on the fifth seed. If both sides are at their expected strength, this will be an exciting game, but the 76ers should pull out a win. Either way, the Sixers will need Shake Milton and company to step up big time.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports