Sixers Look To Bounce Back Against Hawks

NBA: APR 09 76ers at Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers reacts to a play against New Orleans Pelicans during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers (11-11) are looking to get back on track against Trae Young and the Hawks (12-10) Friday night in Atlanta.

After a disappointing loss in Boston Wednesday night, the Sixers need to start to gain some leverage in the competitive Eastern Conference as they currently sit at a lowly 11th place.

Injury Report

Ben Simmons: Out (Personal)

Grant Riller: Out (Meniscus)

After weeks of having players sit out due to Covid-19 related health and safety protocols, the Sixers have been reunited. The Sixers were an absolute powerhouse before Covid plagued the team last month and have been struggling to get back on track to that number one seed they hung onto briefly.

Since putting up 42 points in his game back last week against the Timberwolves in double OT, Joel Embiid has struggled his last two outings on the court, which he attributes to his fight against Covid. Embiid stated after Wednesday’s loss:

“I would never use it as an excuse, but obviously, I think it’s going to take me a while to get back, especially legs and cardio and all that stuff.”

Embiid also added that every day he is working harder and getting better, so Sixers fans should hold out on the panic button and let their big man get back to his pre-covid dominant self.

The Atlanta Hawks

A Sixers Hawks matchup will always open wounds for Philadelphia fans after a devastating loss in the second round of the playoffs last year. The Sixers were able to exact a little revenge after their blowout 122-94 win back in October.

Trae Young has been heating it up as of late. Averaging 26.3 PPG and 38.8% from the 3, the Sixers need to slow Young at all costs. Putting a strong defensive player like Thybulle or Green on Young will make him work for his numbers. In their previous matchup, Young struggled against this defense which resulted in him only scoring 13 points and going 1-4 from beyond the arc.

Sixers fans can look forward to an interesting matchup between Capela and Embiid Friday night. After being sidelined for an Achilles injury, Capela is ramping it up down in Atlanta and currently is averaging 12.5 rebounds a game. Capela has always played pretty physically against Embiid, and with the Sixers big man struggling, it’s important to make sure he has help in Andre Drummond, another rebound powerhouse.

Sixers Offense Woes

After one of the lowest-scoring games of the season, the Sixers 88-87 loss in Boston gave fans quite a headache. No one seemed engaged, and shots were not falling, leading the score to go back and forth throughout the game, leaving the Sixers on the losing side at the end.

In a game where the Sixers could have easily capitalized on the Celtics struggling offense, the Sixers looked sluggish and made questionable plays throughout the game, with no one ever heating up to take charge. The Atlanta Hawks are a fiery team that can get hot quickly beyond the arc. The Sixers need to look to come out of the gate ready to match their energy and put the loss in Boston behind them.

The Sixers take on the Hawks as a 1.5 underdog Friday night in Atlanta at 7:30 pm.