What is it about Atlanta? Is it the sights, the sounds, the World of Coca-Cola? Whatever the reason, the Sixers find a way to fall apart when they play the Hawks in Atlanta. That’s not an easy task as the Hawks have the worst record in the East and the second-worst in the NBA. As far as match-ups go the Hawks are one of the worst for the Sixers. Speed, shooting, Trae Young, the Sixers struggle defending all three of these.
The Sixers fell to the Hawks once again as they looked disinterested in playing defense, especially against Trae Young. While the offense had its share of success tonight, they couldn’t keep pace with this Hawks team. The Hawks were hungrier for the win and the Sixers looked lost on the road yet again.
Sixer of the Game: Shake Milton
Shake Milton had a breakout game tonight; he scored 24 points, grabbed four rebounds, and dished five assists. Since Brett Brown inserted him into the starting lineup he has delivered and then some. Going from 7 to 11, to 27 points, Milton is scoring efficiently and with confidence. Losing Josh Richardson wasn’t easy but Milton is doing his best to fill in for now.
Expect Milton’s role to increase with his production on the court. He could either be another quality wing off the bench or he could even be the answer to the Sixers backup point guard situation. Milton can certainly develop into the backup pg role though the Sixers may be better off trading for one in the short term.
Who’s to Blame?
The Sixers looked like a complete mess on the road yet again and you have to wonder why. Why is it that this team is 22-2 at home and 9-16 away from Philly? The Team almost has a whole looked like they didn’t care to play tonight. Matisse Thybulle and Ben Simmons, the team’s two best defenders, struggled heavily to contain Trae Young. They were slow and weak coming off screens and that is unacceptable.
On the other hand, isn’t their coach responsible to light that fire under them? Well yes and no. Brett Brown does have some responsibility to motivate this team but the players are grown adults, they shouldn’t need their coach over their shoulders to be inspired. The Sixers need more from Brett Brown but the players need to be held responsible as well.
The bench was also uninspired tonight save for Mike Scott who more often than not has struggled during the rest of this season. Scoring only 14 points the effort from the bench tonight was pathetic. The Sixers obviously need to add to this team but that alone won’t solve everything.
The Sixers will continue their road trip by traveling up to Boston for a match-up Saturday night. It will be a challenge to say the least but with Al Horford likely returning the Sixers should feel a little more depth which will be good for the whole team. Catch the game on ABC at 8:30 PM EST or listen live at 97.5 FM the Fanatic.
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports