The 76ers begin their second round matchup against the Atlanta Hawks
After a nice three-day rest, the Philadelphia 76ers will begin the second round of the NBA Playoffs this afternoon at 1:00pm, hosting the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta is coming off a dominant series against the New York Knicks, who they eliminated in five games. The Hawks are led by star point guard Trae Young who looks to continue his unstoppable offense against the Sixers.
Despite his elite skill, Philly isn’t worried too much about Trae Young. Between Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle, the Sixers will be able to contain Trae as much as possible. When speaking about the matchup earlier this week, Thybulle felt confident in the 76ers’ ability to guard Young on offense. Trae averaged 29 points and ten assists for the Hawks during their last series, leading the team in scoring.
For the Sixers, Joel Embiid is currently listed as questionable. Doc Rivers has said Embiid is going through workouts but no team drills yet and wouldn’t comment when Joel would return to the court. It seems likely that the 76ers will rest him for game one and determine if he is needed for the remainder of the series on a game-by-game basis. No other Sixers have been listed in injury protocol, with Seth Curry recovering from his ankle injuries last series.
|Seth Curry||PG||Trae Young|
|Danny Green||SG||Bogdan Bogdanovic|
|Matisse Thybulle||SF||De’Andre Hunter|
|Tobias Harris||PF||John Collins|
|Ben Simmons||C||Clint Capela|
Outside of Trae, the Hawks are led by big man presence Clint Capela, athletic forward John Collins, and their killer sixth man Danilo Gallinari. This matchup is going to be a lot different from Washington for the Sixers. Atlanta is far more well-rounded and deeper at every position. Philadelphia ran small without Embiid during game five, and it could be seen again, but Dwight is likely needed to guard Capela.
Without Joel, Ben Simmons and the entire 76ers roster will need to bring their A-game every single game this series. Simmons was phenomenal on Wednesday and will need to bring that same energy this whole round. If the Sixers run an average offense and play to their potential on defense, they could pull off this series without Joel Embiid. If Embiid returns early this series and looks to be healthy, this shouldn’t be close. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 on ABC with games no longer being shown on local broadcasts.
|Atlanta Hawks||+3 (-112)||+126||Over 220.5 (-110)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-3 (-108)||-148||Under 220.5 (-110)|
Mandatory Credit: Draftkings