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Preview and Game Thread #76: Atlanta Hawks @ Philadelphia 76ers

Atlanta Hawks 08-09 Game #76



Wachovia Center
March 31, 2009, 7:00 PM
Sports South, Hawks Radio NetworkNBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Mike Bibby PG Andre Miller
Joe Johnson SG Willie Green
arvin Williams SF Andre Iguodala
Josh Smith PF Thaddeus Young
Al Horford C Samuel Dalembert


Hawks Injury Report: Craig "five million to the cap" Claxton and Marvin Williams are out. Acie Law has officially entered "mysterious" injury land.

Sixers Injury Report: Elton Brand is out. Samuel Dalembert is a game time decision, and only played seven minutes against the Pistons. He may pull a Royal Ivey tonight.

Blogging With the Enemy: Liberty Ballers

Predicted bane of the Hawks existence: Considering I hate the match up problems the Sixers bring to the Hawks, I am tempted to name multiple people, but I will go with a home town pick, Louis Williams.

Game Preview:

While over the top, I tend to agree with Josh Smith's latest quote (but really that caveat sums up much of my one sided relationship with the Inspector):

"I can’t tell you the last time we played a game that didn’t seem like our entire season was on the line at the opening tip. Philadelphia is an interesting team for us because they match up pretty well against us."

Philly is really in no position to challenge the Hawks fourth seed so its importance lies in the fact that neither Josh Smith or me want to see the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs. It is not that Philly is better just that they are scarier. That makes this game not "entire season" important, but certainly, control your own destiny/message sending important.

I just spent 134 words defining the importance level of the 76th game of the season. See I told you the season is not too long.

Keys to the game:

  1. Slump buster Al. Partly because the Hawks need him to be more efficient, partly because, with Dalembert injured, this is a mismatch in favor of the Hawks.
  2. Full 48. The Hawks are pretty anti 48 minutes of effort on the road. This should be a playoff like atmosphere so lets hope we see playoff effort.
  3. Joe Johnson punishes Willie Green.
  4. This game ends with my only reason to dislike Thad Young remaining that he attended Tech. I kid, I kid...sort of.

Join me in the comments where we can discuss how scary that huge bridge is in Philadelphia, the ways Nique has criticized some Hawks strategy as the season has gone, and of course whether or not Randolph smiled in the documentary "Under the Lights."

Go Hawks.