The Philadelphia Sixers pulled off a relieving victory today to secure their win over the Wizards and set up a conference semi against the Atlanta Hawks this Sunday.
The Sixers were expected to have problems in the series following an injury to star man John Embiid but were able to win in grand fashion regardless. However, the Hawks will be drooling at the thought of facing a non-Embiid Philly side in the semis, a much easier proposition than the fearsome Philly team that won first seed. While the Sixers have great momentum and the likes of Ben Simmons and Seth Curry can pick up the slack from Embiid, it will likely be a far tougher game for Doc Rivers’ men now.
The Hawks are doing well themselves, too, however, securing their semis spot in just five games and holding the Knicks to below 100 points for three of them. Clint Capela’s outstanding defensive presence has been key for the Hawks time and again this year, and it showed in this series. Trae Young has also been in fine form on the other end, giving Atlanta a well-rounded set of tools with which to take apart the Sixers should they be unable to get their mojo back. The Hawks have had a good season playing pragmatic ball, but they’ll have to switch it up against Philly, making for an interesting watch.
The game will be tight, though the Sixers can’t simply be discounted because of Embiid’s injury. Philly’s roster is deep, and their tactics are deep-rooted, with this year’s organizational overhaul proven vital in making them first-seeds and among the title favorites. In a classic match of trembling giant versus a favored underdog, the winner will probably be the fans.