After two days off, the Atlanta Hawks hit the road on Wednesday evening for a very intriguing face-off with the Philadelphia 76ers. The visiting team’s 1-6 start has been dissected from virtually every angle but, with a (very) tough schedule coming up on paper, this is a spot in which Atlanta would be well served to bring energy and intensity toward pulling an upset win.
The Sixers enter this game as sizable, 9-point favorites in the Las Vegas world and much of that has to do with the strong early-season play of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Embiid was tremendous in a limited sample last season but Simmons, in his rookie campaign, has been lighting the NBA world on fire to the tune of 18.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.
In this match-up, Simmons presents a devastatingly difficult match-up, much in the way that Giannis Antetokounmpo did on Sunday afternoon. They are different players in some respects but the Hawks had all kinds of (justified) trouble with a big, physical forward with the ball in his hands and Simmons is just that.
Injury-wise, the Hawks will be without Ersan Ilyasova (in addition to DeAndre’ Bembry and Miles Plumlee) in this spot, further illustrating the difficulty of the match-up. Atlanta is expected to have its full complement elsewhere, though, and the team will need strong performances from Dennis Schröder and others to compete.
Oh, did we mention that John Collins and Joel Embiid will likely face off at some point? That seems fun.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, November 1, 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Wells Fargo Center
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 “The Game”