3 Questionable Calls from Yesterday’s Sixers Hawks game
During the Sixers 128-124 loss to the Atlanta Hawks yesterday, they shot themselves in the foot consistently by playing careless basketball leading to nine first-quarter turnovers and head-scratching rotations throughout the game.
If the Sixers cleaned those things up, and they will, the outcome would not have been the same. Despite that, some events outside their control were catalysts for this loss, including Atlanta’s God-like perimeter shooting early on and the referees once again aiding the other team.
The 76ers should be used to these calls by now. When playing the Wizards, the Sixers were often called on very soft fouls but could get through the series with ease. When facing a much more formidable opponent, it’s a lot more challenging to work through them. There were numerous instances where the Hawks were bailed out by the whistle or lack thereof led by their star foul-chaser, Trae Young.
Now some might complain and say the 76ers have their own flopper in Joel Embiid. At least with Joel, he’s just such a mismatch down low that fouling is sometimes the best option. For Trae, he was given the benefit of the doubt every time a Sixers player came near into contact with him. For example, when guarded by Matisse Thybulle, Trae pushed off and exaggerated to make it look like a foul and got the whistle. Even after Doc challenged the call and it went to review, the outcome remained the same.
Following that, Ben Simmons got called for two cheap fouls early in the second half for being too close to Trae and “grabbing his hip.” It got so bad to the point where Young flopped while Ben was shooting free throws when Joel went to box him out. These calls are getting ridiculous, and in short bursts, it’s understandable, but this is insane.
The zebras continued their biased calling when Danny Green was trying to break away, and John Colling grabbed his jersey so much you could see him pulling it on national television. Like clockwork, the whistles were silent, and it led to a 76ers turnover. Now any good team can fight through adversity, and the 76ers will be able to do so quickly if they fix things on their end.
There really is nothing the 76ers can do about this except hope fortune turns their way in-game two. If they soften their defense on Trae, he will exploit it and kill the Sixers from deep. Ben and Matisse didn’t have their hands in the cookie jar either. They were playing hands up perfect defense.
The only advice would be for guys like Danny Green to just glue their feet to the ground. Trae is baiting you into leaving the ground so he can lean in for a shooting foul. If you eliminate that, you can save yourself some points there.
This style of play won’t be going away in the next round either if the Brooklyn Nets advance and James Harden is healthy. Hopefully, things will return to the mean tomorrow during game two, and the Sixers can tie up the series before heading to Atlanta. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 tomorrow night on TNT.
Mandatory Credit: Matt Slocum