The Philadelphia 76ers are the #1 seed who, on Sunday saw the Atlanta Hawks come in and embarrass them on home court. The final score was 128-124 but that score isnt indicative of how lopsided the game was. Because there are no moral victories in the playoffs.
It wasn’t JUST the fact that Trae Young was seemingly having his way with Sixers defenders (looking at you Danny Green) but also the Sixers laissez faire attitude with the basketball in the first half. I’m pretty sure as I type this they have once again turned the ball over. The fans were pumped. Joel Embiid was IN the lineup which was a giant unknown. On top of that, rookie DeAndre Hunter was OUT for the Hawks. This was setting up for a blood bath. And it was, it just wasn’t the blood bath we were expecting.
It seemed like anytime the Sixers were able to force a miss, they failed to capitalize. Anytime the Sixers cut the lead to 15-17 points, the Hawks would answer back with the 3. One of the best defensive teams in the NBA looked like one of the worst. Running around as they tried to follow the ball, looking like they didn’t have a clue.
Danny Green was noticeably bad. Horrendous is a good way to describe Green on Sunday. A combination of Trae Young owning him, and the fact that he did not attempt a shot in the first half. Doc Rivers should receive some blame for this as well. The fact it took 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter to finally put Matisse Thybulle on Trae Young was a glaring mistake that many on their couch could point out. Flat out, he just didn’t have the team ready. Maybe they took the Hawks for granted. Maybe they were simply “off” but when the run finally came in the 4th quarter it was too little too late.
The good news is the Hawks aren’t likely to shoot like that again. The Hawks shot 20-47 from 3. The Sixers aren’t likely to have 19 turnovers. But the fact that you let the Hawks take game 1 when they were missing one of their key players (Hunter) is a bit alarming. A bit alarming isn’t “sound the alarms” though. Its 1 game. and the Sixers will look to adjust and regroup for game 2. But the adjustments need to be made. The turnovers need to be limited. The 3 point shooting needs to get better. And The non big 3 of the Sixers (Green and Curry) need to be locked in.
The Sixers were embarrassed 0n their home court. Its a situation that just CANT happen again.