Philadelphia came out of last night with a 1-1 series tie after a 118-102 win over Atlanta. It was a truly impressive win for the Sixers, that showcased the team’s poise and confidence.
1. The Defense
The defense was MUCH improved from Game 1 to Game 2. The Hawks shot a measly 36% from three, mostly led by Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari. Most importantly, Trae Young shot 1-7 from deep.
We knew Atlanta wouldn’t shoot like they did in Game 1 consistently, but Philadelphia still had to execute and that’s exactly what they did. Per Jackson Frank, Atlanta went from a whopping 53.2% 3-point frequency to just 32%. That’s defense and good defense at that.
2. Shake Shack Back ?
Late in the third, many Sixers fans (including myself) wondered why Doc brought Shake Milton in the game considering his play over the last month or so. We were all wrong. Milton came back into this game confident and hot. He lead the Sixers bench to an eventual 20 point lead. He was aggressive as soon as he came into the game and didn’t stop until he left.
If Shake can continue to lead the bench the rest of these playoffs, that’s an exciting thing to think about.
3. Joel Embiid. Joel. Em. Biid.
Okay, we’re all thinking it. Joel Embiid is such a fun player to watch. The agility and ability to control his body is incredible. Folks, we have to remember that Clint Capela is one of the best defensive centers in the league. Not only was Capela having trouble, but the Hawks were forced to put other players on Embiid, such as Gallinari and John Collins late. That’s a nightmare.
Joel constantly got the foul on the opposing team and eventually one of them fouled out. I’m just happy Joel is here, and that we don’t have to play him.
4. The Better Curry Brother
Seth Curry has hit his stride just in time for Philadelphia. He’s been good all year but now he’s reached scorching hot levels of phenomenal play offensively. Often he’s being cheated off of because of Embiid. He’s great at either going off the dribble and making something happen or taking the shot and drilling it.
I beg that we all remember what Seth Curry was traded for. Josh Richardson and a SECOND ROUND PICK ! Not to mention the fact he’s on a cheap deal for 2 more years. Gotta love Daryl, man.
5. Ben Simmons was Good. He can still be Better.
Ben was really good defensively tonight and basically made Trae Young irrelevant along with his partner in Matisse Thybulle. He made some incredible passes as well and was a good playmaker today. But 4 points on 3 shots is not good. It just isn’t. He often had mismatches and didn’t attack them today, and Philadelphia just stuck him in the dunker’s spot. The Sixers NEED to figure out what Ben’s role beside facilitating on offense can be in the playoffs.
All in all, very solid game from Philadelphia as a whole. I didn’t mention it but, Tobias Harris was great as well. Also, TNT’s demise will be televised for saying that fans were chanting “Let’s Go Process!”
Anyways, go get yourself a frosty and see ya in Atlanta on Friday for game 3!