By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound as they faced the Atlanta Hawks, looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the young season. Unfortunately for Philly the Hawks had other plans as they took advantage of the Sixers only having nine players. They played fast, and used some hot shooting to destroy them 112-94. The Sixers are now 7-4 with the second-best record in the East.
It looked good for Philly early on. They got some added reinforcement with the return of Joel Embiid, who has dominated Atlanta. He started off dominating them again. He scored the first three baskets for the Sixers. Thanks to his strong play the Sixers were able to get out to a nine-point lead by the end of the first quarter. Had the game ended right there Philly would be 8-3 instead of 7-4.
However, the Hawks had 36 minutes left in the game. They erased the Sixers lead by the end of the second quarter. They went on a 37-18 run in this period. Behind the play of guard Trae Young and center Clint Capela. Young was able to make some difficult shots from beyond the arc. He scored 26-points and had eight assists. Most of those assists went to Capela. When Young was ran off the three-point line he would use an alley-oop to get Capella going, and that powered a big and ultimately game deciding run.
Philly was once again too shorthanded, they only had nine players and most of their shooters are in the league’s Covid-19 protocols. With rumors swirling that the league may take a week to two week pause to help teams get healthy and get players back. The Sixers may be able to get back to full-strength before the month’s over. Nobody is weeping for the Sixers right now. While missing some key players like forward/guard Ben Simmons, forward Tobias Harris, and guard Seth Curry has been big from a team and offensive perspective. It has allowed for other players to step up.
Specifically, the rookie backcourt of Isaiah Joe and Tyrese Maxey. They both combined for 23-points and continue to grow-up before everyone’s eyes. Philly may have its backcourt of the future and some potential playmakers come playoff time. These two along with Embiid (scored 24-points) were the three bright spots in another bad game for Philly.
The Sixers shot a pitiful 17.9% from three-point range. Their shooters could not even shoot a rock into the Schuylkill River with the way they were shooting tonight.
The Hawks got a much-needed win and the Sixers now head for a two-game series with the Miami Heat who also have lost a significant amount of fire power to the league Covid-19 protocols.