Coming off an embarrassment of a loss against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night, the Sixers have another tester on Monday. The Atlanta Hawks (17-41) make their first appearance in Philadelphia, as the Trae Young and the Hawks face off with Philly (35-22) for the first time this season.
Coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Radio coverage will be on 97.5 The Fanatic.
Despite all the chaos among the Sixers’ squad, Philly is 8.5 point favorites with an over/under set at 228.5.
The Hawks may sit at the bottom of the league, but they haven’t played like so against the Sixers this season. The teams have split their first two meetings of the four scheduled this season. Philly edged out Atlanta 105-103 at their arena back at the beginning of the season. The Hawks got the best of the Sixers in game two though, as they dropped it 127-117 in Atlanta.
It’s no secret that the Sixers are phenomenal at home this season. Being that it’s game one in Philadelphia between these teams, the Sixers hope to flip the script and dominate as they should, even without two of their starters.
Right before the end of the All-Star break, Ben Simmons tweaked his back while going up for a rebound during practice. After missing a victory over the Nets, Simmons planned on playing against Saturday’s loss to the Bucks. This lasted about five minutes, and the All-Star found himself getting evaluated once again. Simmons is listed as out tonight, and more updates on him will come during the week.
During the Bucks’ game, Tobias Harris was visibly injured midway through the third quarter. Tobi toughed it out and finished the game with a team-high 31 minutes played, but looks to be regretting it.
Tobias is not listed as out yet, but his status is definitely in deep question heading into tonight’s match-up. No further word on Harris is available at this time, but coach Brett Brown is most likely game planning to not have two of his stars.
DeAndre’ Bembry (abdomen) and Clint Capela (plantar fascitis) are both out for Atlanta tonight as well.
Hawks’ Recent Play
The Hawks have been on fire coming out of the break. They’re coming into Monday night’s game against Philly on a two-game winning streak, where they have defeated the Heat and Mavericks at home.
In their win over Miami on Thursday, Atlanta’s star and leading scorer, Trae Young, scored a career-high 50 points, including eight threes, and hitting 18 of his 19 free throw attempts. Saturday against Dallas, John Collins recorded a 35-point, 17-rebound double-double.
In both of these games, the Hawks have gone over their season average in scoring (110.5).
This game is a tough one to predict. Because of the Sixers’ lack of domination against Atlanta this season, and two of their routine starters being out, I can only see this one being disastrous for Philly. However, one positive is that Joel Embiid dominated the Hawks in their first meeting. The big man finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and a block. The Sixers are going to need a similar performance from their cornerstone if they want to control this game.
I imagine the Sixers’ having Alec Burke and Raul Neto finding their way into the Sixers’ starting lineup tonight, but with minutes being spread to a number of guys. Josh Richardson will need to step up defensively against Trae Young with Ben Simmons being out as well.
Sixers sneak a win at home to pick up their 27th in 29 opportunities. Final score: 107-102 in favor of Philly.
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