76ers-Hawks Game Four: Preview, Odds, Predictions
First things first, shoutout Anthony Gargano for this quote this morning: “We Took Their Hearts, Now It’s Time To Take Their Souls.”
It’s go time. After a much-needed two-day break, the 76ers return to action tonight in Atlanta for Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Since the second half of Game One, the Sixers have been red-hot and not showing any signs of slowing down. Even with the loss of Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle and the rest of the Sixers bench have filled in beautifully, and their offense hasn’t skipped a beat.
Philadelphia’s defense against Trae Young has been phenomenal. In the last two games, he hasn’t been able to get much going on offense while going up against Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle. Even in front of his home crowd in Atlanta, Young struggled until late in the fourth quarter. While the 76ers dominate no matter who they’re in front of, it will be interesting to see if the city of Atlanta decides to show any class tonight.
Joel Embiid has looked like a man possessed this series, with Atlanta not having a single thing they can do to slow him down. In this series, Embiid averages 35 points per game, the highest series average in Joel’s career by five points. On Friday, Joel had 27 points while dishing out eight assists. Embiid suffered numerous injury scares throughout the night but came out okay, but he needs to avoid any unnecessary dives or jumps out of precaution.
Following Game Three, Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid spoke about how they urged Ben Simmons to be aggressive in the second half, and boy, did he deliver. To end the night, Ben dropped 18 points with seven assists on 7/11 shooting. Hopefully, Ben can bring that energy once again tonight to help put this series out of reach.
The loss of Danny Green will be felt, but the 76ers’ bench resurgence will help relieve some of the issues. Matisse Thybulle filled in tremendously in the starting five, while Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton were very good as the first two players off the bench. With the Sixers having to go one man deeper, Tyrese Maxey will likely see extended time for the remainder of the postseason.
|Philadelphia 76ers||-3.5 (-112)||-168||O 225.5 (-110)|
|Atlanta Hawks||+3.5 (-108)||+142||U 225.5 (-110)|
If the 76ers continue to play the game at their pace and control Trae Young without getting into significant foul trouble, they should be able to head home to Philadelphia with a 3-1 lead. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 tonight on TNT.
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