The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 on Sunday, and will now look to take a 2-0 lead Tuesday evening before coming home. The Hawks led by as many as 26 on Sunday, but squeaked out a four-point win after nearly collapsing in the final minutes.
Trae Young had another outstanding performance in Game 1, posting 35 points and 10 assists in the win. Joel Embiid, who had injury concerns flying around his name leading into the series, posted 39 points and nine rebounds for the Sixers, and seemingly quieted the noise surrounding his torn meniscus.
Despite the result for Atlanta, the final minutes were very concerning going into Game 2. Philadelphia executed several traps and turned over the Hawks six times in the final few minutes of play, which led to a huge run, and nearly a completed comeback attempt. Young had just ten points and three assists in the second half, and will presumably be faced with more traps (and more Ben Simmons) going forward.
Atlanta buried the Sixers in the first half with 13 three-pointers, helping generate a 20-point halftime lead. Timely shooting and playmaking, despite all of the mistakes, ultimately saved from blowing their massive lead. They led by as many as 25 in the third quarter, and somehow still needed a bit of luck to close out the win. Nonetheless, all of that is water under the bridge. They lead the series 1-0, and have stolen home court in Game 1 for the second straight series.
De’Andre Hunter is the huge thing to watch here. After missing Game 1, he’s again questionable (knee) for Game 2. Kris Dunn (non-covid illness), Brandon Goodwin (minor respiratory condition) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) will be out on Tuesday.
Joel Embiid (meniscus) will again be questionable on Tuesday, and don’t be surprised if the 76ers make him a game-time decision yet again. Based on how he played Sunday, and the fact that the Sixers are desperate for a win, it would seem surprising if we did not play.
Philadelphia opens as a 5-point favorite for Game 2 on their home floor. They will be desperate to even the series, and handily outplayed the Hawks in the fourth quarter on Sunday, almost winning after trailing by as many as 17 inside the final five minutes.
This line obviously greatly depends on the status of Embiid, while Hunter playing may provide the Hawks a slight boost in the eyes of Vegas, but probably not more than half a point or so.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, June 8, 7:30 pm ET
Location: Wells Fargo Center
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Watch TNT