What to find out about Hawks vs. 76ers
The 76ers had been dominant all through the common season, ending with the very best general document within the East (49-23) and third-best document within the league behind solely the Jazz (52-20) and Suns (51-21). Philadelphia appeared like a a lot totally different group with a revamped roster constructed round All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and coach Doc Rivers appeared to push all the proper buttons in his first 12 months with the Sixers.
The Hawks, then again, struggled to search out their footing early within the season. Amid reviews of friction between Lloyd Pierce and Hawks gamers, together with Trae Younger, Atlanta determined to make a training change on March 1 with the group sitting on the skin of not simply the playoff image, but in addition the play-in event. After assistant Nate McMillan took over, the Hawks went 27-11 to safe a postseason berth. (It is price noting McMillan’s promotion coincided with the return of Bogdan Bogdanovic. That in all probability helped.)
Atlanta and Philadelphia dealt with their first-round sequence with relative ease, dispatching New York and Washington in 5 video games (also called the Gentleman’s Sweep). Now comes a real check within the Jap Convention semifinals with a matchup that could possibly be extra aggressive than a typical No. 1 vs. No. 5 battle.
The important thing matchup
Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle vs. Trae Younger
Younger torched the Knicks in Spherical 1, averaging 29.2 factors and 9.8 assists in his playoff debut. He wasn’t extremely environment friendly from the sphere (44.1 %) or 3-point territory (34.1 %), however he did take greater than seven free throws per recreation, hitting on almost 92 % of these makes an attempt.
Past the numbers, although, Younger managed the circulate of the sequence. He used the specter of his outdoors taking pictures and pinpoint passing to maintain New York’s protection off stability. Plus, the man simply loved accepting the function of the most recent Madison Sq. Backyard villain.
However the Knicks did not have a defender like Simmons or Thybulle on their roster.
Simmons may begin on Younger and provides him some issues. At 6-11, the 24-year-old is sufficiently big to trouble Younger’s jumper, but fast sufficient to remain in entrance of him alongside the perimeter. That uncommon mixture will make Simmons a Defensive Participant of the Yr candidate for years to come back. As Wizards coach Scott Brooks stated, “Not many guys can guard one by 5.”
And if Rivers needs to modify issues up, he can sub in Thybulle. The previous Washington standout is a menace on the defensive finish, as he’s by no means actually out of a play, even when he will get screened or beat off the dribble. Thybulle totaled 4 steals and 5 blocks in Philadelphia’s Sport 2 win over Washington, changing into the primary guard in NBA playoff historical past to hit these thresholds. Oh, and he performed lower than 20 minutes,
Put Simmons and Thybulle on the ground collectively, and the outcomes are terrifying. No surprise the Sixers had the second-best defensive score within the league through the common season.
Whether or not Younger can break away from the Simmons and Thybulle shackles may go a good distance in figuring out which group emerges victorious.
How a lot will Joel Embiid play?
So yeah, this can be a large one. The 76ers introduced Wednesday that Embiid had suffered a small lateral meniscus tear in his proper knee and is taken into account day-to-day. It seems surgical procedure shouldn’t be on the desk in the intervening time, but it surely’s unclear precisely when Embiid may return.
Apparent assertion alert: Philadelphia was considerably higher when Embiid was accessible through the common season. The 76ers went 39-12 when he performed, the very best document for any participant that logged a minimum of 1,000 minutes, per ESPN Stats and Data.
|76ers||File||Offensive score||Defensive score||Internet score|
|With out Embiid||10-11||106.6||106.5||0.1|
“We all know we have got sufficient with out Joel on the market to win a number of video games,” Sixers guard Seth Curry stated. “We do not have a selection — we have got to have that confidence and consider. We have quite a lot of assured guys. Joel has been big for us all 12 months. It is solely proper for us to offer him as a lot time as he must get again and assist us win all of it.”
However how a lot time does Embiid want? And what number of video games can Philly survive with out him?
The large quantity
Whereas the 76ers are extra well-known for his or her defensive prowess than the Hawks, let’s give Atlanta some credit score. McMillan’s squad held the Knicks to a 102.1 offensive score within the first spherical, greater than eight factors decrease than New York’s common season mark (110.2).
Everybody is aware of the Hawks possess offensive firepower at a number of positions, however their dedication to protection might be key in the event that they wish to pull off the upset and attain the Jap Convention finals.
Hawks vs. 76ers schedule
(All occasions Jap)
* If essential
Hawks vs. 76ers prediction
76ers in six
The Embiid query looms massive on this sequence and makes it a tricky one to foretell. Philadelphia was in a position to put away Washington with out Embiid, however Atlanta is a wholly totally different problem. The Hawks definitely don’t lack confidence.
With such restricted info concerning Embiid’s standing, the guess right here is that the Sixers can comprise Younger and maintain the ship afloat till he rejoins the beginning lineup.