Sixers: 5 important factors in Game 7 vs. Hawks

Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Sunday night, the Philadelphia 76ers will host the Atlanta Hawks in a critical Game 7. That game may very well determine the Sixers’ future. A loss, and Doc Rivers’ seat gets warm, Daryl Morey gets aggressive, and Ben Simmons‘ future is thoroughly in doubt. A win, and the Sixers get to the conference finals, accomplish a seasons-long milestone, and fight the winner of Brooklyn/Milwaukee as underdogs.

The Sixers have been the better team for much of this series, and yet, two egregious collapses left the Hawks with a chance to close things out in Game 6. The Sixers survived a Trae Young tidal wave, executed down the stretch, and were cosmically blessed with a strong night from Tyrese Maxey. Now, the final venue is a raucous Wells Fargo Center.

Few things are more stressful than a Sixers game, much less a Sixers Game 7 not long removed from complete despair and contempt. The Sixers have a lot to prove on Sunday. It’s win or go home — fold or fight.

Important factors in Sixers-Hawks Game 7: Curry’s crusade

So far this series, Seth Curry is averaging 21.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. He has hit 61.5 percent of his field goal attempts, and shot 59.6 percent on 7.8 attempts per game from 3-point range. That is comically absurd, yet still in line with Curry’s status as the most efficient spot-up shooter Mother Earth has to offer.

If Curry can continue to look like Philadelphia’s second-best player, the offense is in a good spot. He has single-handedly bolstered the Sixers’ 3-point attack in this series, and his sustained aggressiveness makes it much harder for Atlanta to focus its energies on Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris.

The Sixers don’t need another 36-point game from Curry, though that would be nice. They simply need him to keep on keeping on. Curry was a big part of weathering the storm in Game 6. His explosion early in the third quarter is perhaps the reason we have a Game 7 to write about. Big shots in big moments has been Curry’s trademark all series. If that continues, the Sixers should like their chances.