There is nothing more exciting in sports than these two words: Game Seven. The Atlanta Hawks will travel to the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday night to take on the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The winner of this game will advance to play either the Milwaukee Bucks or Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals while the loser will be going home to begin the offseason. The Philadelphia 76ers are coming off a 104-99 road win in Game 6 to force this game.
The atmosphere will be electric and all the chips will be pushed to the center of the table. It will also be an interesting game to wager as these teams have played very different games throughout the series. Let’s take a deeper dive into both teams to determine which team should advance.
Ice TraeThe Atlanta Hawks have been one of the most electric teams this postseason and one reason has been the play of point guard Trae Young. He is playing 37.8 minutes per game this postseason and is averaging 29.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. He has been shooting pretty well as he is shooting 43.1 percent from the floor, 34.8 percent from distance, and 88.4 percent from the charity stripe. During Game 6 of the series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Young played 40 minutes and finished with 34 points, five boards, 12 assists, three steals, and four turnovers. If he can shoot as well as he did early in this series, we can have an upset on our hands.
The Atlanta Hawks have been a solid defense in the playoffs as they are sixth out of 16 teams allowing 105.8 points per game. In Game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers, they gave up 104 points on 38-of-93 (40.9 percent) from the floor, 12-of-29 (41.4 percent) from three, and 23 free-throw attempts. If they can defend without fouling, it will be a great chance for the Atlanta Hawks to be eight wins away from the NBA Championship.
Hurt or Injured?The Philadelphia 76ers are a solid team but are only going to go as far as center Joel Embiid will take them. So far this postseason, he is averaging 27.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 blocks, and a steal in 31.6 minutes per game. He is shooting well this playoffs as he is 51.1 percent from the floor, 38.9 percent from three-point range, and 84.8 percent from the free-throw line. He is coming off a decent Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks where he finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds, an assist, two blocks, and eight turnovers in 38 minutes of action. If Embiid can be better with the ball, it will do wonders for the Sixers.
The Philadelphia 76ers are eighth in the playoffs in terms of points allowed as they have given up 109.3 points per game. In Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks, Philly allowed 99 points on 38-of-92 (40.9 percent) from the field, 10-of-31 (32.3 percent) from beyond the arc, and 24 free-throws. If they can defend the three-point line as well as they have been, it will be a huge boost for their defense.
- Philadelphia: 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games vs a team with a winning record
- Philadelphia: 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 Sunday games
- Atlanta: 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games
- Atlanta: 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games playing on 1 days rest