Die Another Day: Hawks-76ers Game 7
On the other side of the Eastern Conference Playoffs bracket, the Milwaukee Bucks await the winner of tonight’s Game 7 game against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks. The Sixers were able to get the job done in Atlanta on Friday, playing one of their worst games of the season and still beating the Hawks 104-99. This series shouldn’t have gotten to a Game 7. The Hawks honestly haven’t won a single game. The Sixers have beaten themselves in three games this series.
Over the past week, we have witnessed historic collapses from the Philadelphia 76ers. We watched as the majority of the Sixers’ fan base turn their backs on this team after five games. “Fans” claimed they couldn’t stomach watching the 76ers anymore. Established media outlets wrote about how the 76ers would be “better off losing” to save the mental health of Sixers fans. I questioned the intentions of certain Sixers fans who popped up on social media and was met with harsh criticism after calling a Barstool guy a KGB Honeypot.
“The Last of Us” became a rally cry for those who still believed. None of that matters anymore. Everything comes down to tonight. Winning cures all and the 76ers, the city of Philadelphia, and this horrible 76ers fan base are in desperate need of a reset.
We can wipe the slate clean tonight at 8PM in Game 7 against the Hawks in South Philly.
|Atlanta Hawks||+240||+7 (-108)||Over 216.5 (-110)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-300||-7 (-112)||Under 216.5 (-110)|
HAWKS INJURY REPORT
The Hawks are underdogs today, obviously, and will face a tough task in beating the 76ers at home tonight. Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee soreness) is questionable after leaving Game 6 in the fourth quarter and not returning. Bogdanovic was big for the Hawks in Game 4, but only scored six points for the Hawks in Game 5 and seven points in Game 6 before leaving with an injury. If he can’t go tonight, expect a heavy dose of Lou Williams, Tony Snell, or Solomon Hill for the Hawks.
JOEL EMBIID IS A SOLDIER
For the Sixers, Joel Embiid will be listed as questionable yet again, just like he has in every game this series. Nothing is stopping Embiid and he will certainly be motivated by a home crowd tonight to bounce back from a sub-par performance he had on Friday. Even while playing bad, Embiid scored 22 points and snagged 13 rebounds. For the series, he’s averaging 30.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.2 blocks.
THE BETTER CURRY
All eyes should be on Seth Curry, who continues to be the best player for the Sixers in the Hawks series. Curry came up big yet again in Game 6, making 6-of-9 (nice) three point field goal attempts and finishing the game with 24 points. Curry has scored 20 points four times this series and is now averaging 21.8 points while shooting 59.6% from the floor.
A RETURN TO FORM
Tobias Harris bounced back after two rough games in Game 6 as well. After being held to four points on 2-of-11 shooting in Game 5, Harris scored 24 points in Game 6. During 11 playoff games this year, Harris has scored at least 20 points in 9-of-11.
NO MOMENT IS TOO BIG
Tyrese Maxey added 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the 76ers in Game 6 and proved to be a viable option for the Sixers while Ben Simmons battled foul trouble early on in the game. In crunch time, Maxey hit some clutch free throws as well and helped Doc Rivers and Simmons avoid Hack-A-Ben. I would expect more of the same from Maxey tonight.
As for Simmons, who knows what to say. The 24 year old is one of the most polarized players in the NBA and has struggled over the last three games of the Hawks series as the Sixers fan base has straight up deserted him. I’m still here for Ben Simmons. He is not as bad as he has been playing over the past three games and a bounce back game tonight would help set the tone heading into the Eastern Conference Finals. I rarely ever agree with Shaq, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
I am very confident that the Sixers take the court tonight locked in and focused on the task at hand. The home crowd will certainly help. As for the doubters and haters (of which there are many), do yourself a favor today and stay quiet. When it’s game time, put your phones down and close your laptops. Just watch this Sixers team play one of the biggest games in franchise history. Enjoy it. Root for Ben Simmons to return to form. Praise Joel Embiid and everything he has done for this team over the entire length of the season. Marvel at the rookie Tyrese Maxey.
A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE
The Sixers win tonight by double digits and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals to play the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that always provides a heated matchup for the 76ers. For Giannis and the road ahead, we remember.