Sixers strike back in Game 2 vs. Hawks

Ben Simmons, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks was quite an interesting game. The 76ers, being 29-7 at home, were supposed to make a statement by winning the first game against the Hawks. But things didn’t quite go as planned. The Hawks came into the Wells Fargo Center and put on a shooting clinic, hitting 20 threes and shooting 51.2 percent from the field. After that game, the question became apparent: what happened to the Sixers tonight? Was it the coaching staff? Was it Ben Simmons not hitting free throws?

Luckily, Game 2 was different.

What changed for the Sixers between Game 1 and Game 2

Game 1 of the semifinals was not how Philadelphia wanted to start this series. Luckily, as I said before, the Sixers did change some game plans from Game 1. For example, as everyone already knew, having Danny Green on Trae Young was a very poor decision by Sixers head coach Doc Rivers. The different between the first half of Game 1 when Danny Green was guarding Trae Young and the second half when Ben Simmons was guarding Trae Young was night and day. Simmons is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and has the ability to guard positions one through five.

Another factor of the Sixers’ success was their shooting performance. Now, I’m not gonna lie, when the second half came and I saw Atlanta’s bench was out scoring the Sixers’ bench 32-0, I was a little nervous. Then, the second half came and suddenly Doc Rivers puts in Shake Milton and man, did Shake Milton have himself a game. He put up 14 points on 4-for-4 from 3-point range in only 11 minutes of action.

The Sixers playing their brand of basketball

When the Sixers are playing their brand of basketball, they’re pretty hard to stop. Joel Embiid had 40 points and 13 rebounds and, if you’re Atlanta, it’s really hard to double team that because of Philadelphia’s shooters — Seth Curry, Danny Green, and even Tobias Harris. Even the Sixers’ bench players like Matisse Thybulle, George Hill and Dwight Howard play a pivotal role off the bench. Thybulle especially.

The Sixers are a pretty scary team when Embiid is going for 40, Seth is shooting 5-for-6 from 3, Ben is playing elite defense, and Tobias is causing chaos on the offensive end. If the Sixers continue to play like they did last night who knows were the Sixers might end up in this year’s playoff run.

The Sixers’ next game will be in Atlanta on Friday, June 11 at 7:30 PM E.T.

Next. Sixers-Hawks Game 2 takeaways. dark