After missing the playoffs last season, the Atlanta Hawks are into the second round. They will now face a tough test against the No.1 seed Philadelphia 76ers. Can Trae Young continue his scorching playoff debut against one of the NBA’s best defenses or will the 76ers march on to the Eastern Conference Finals? The No.1 seed Philadelphia 76ers took care of the Washington Wizards in five games. Thanks to that, they are now in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Awaiting them is the No.5 seed Atlanta Hawks, who took care of the New York Knicks in five games, giving us a matchup between one of the best offences in the league and the best defenses. The Atlanta Hawks will look to take a surprise 2-0 lead when they play the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
There were plenty of questions heading into the second-round matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. Most of them revolve around Joel Embiid’s health. He ended up playing, but there are even more questions now after the Hawks stunned the 76ers on the road to take Game 1. Trae Young played a terrific game, finishing with 35 points and 10 assists. Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins added 21 points apiece. The Hawks held on despite a furious push from the Sixers down the stretch. Embiid put up 39 points and nine rebounds but played 38 minutes. How will his knee respond to such a heavy workload? And how will the Sixers respond after losing homecourt advantage? For more details about the match-up, check NBA’s official website.
The Atlanta Hawks won the first game.
- 2nd Game – Tuesday, June 8, 7:30 p.m. ET
- 3rd Game – Friday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. ET
- 4th Game – Monday, June 14, TBD
- 5th Game (if necessary) – Wednesday, June 16, TBD
- 6th Game (if necessary) – Friday, June 14, TBD
- 7th Game (if necessary) – Monday, June 14, TBD
(1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (4) Atlanta Hawks
The 76ers won the last two meetings of the season by a combined 66 points, both coming at home. Their lone loss to the Hawks came in January, (112-94), however, they were missing eight players due to health and safety protocols, including Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, and Matisse Thybulle, while Ben Simmons was sidelined with a knee injury. Injuries haven’t allowed us to see these teams go at it at full strength this season.
The Hawks came ready to play in Game 1, and jumped all over a sleepwalking Sixers team. It took less than 10 minutes for them to build a double-digit lead, and at one point in the first half they were up by 26. Trae Young picked up right where he left off against the Knicks, they shot the ball well from 3-point land and largely contained everyone not named Joel Embiid. The only real negative was that they got a little shook towards the end of the fourth quarter, and nearly gave the game away.
Whether the early afternoon start time was to blame, or the Sixers simply underestimated the Hawks, it was clear they weren’t ready to play on Sunday. They let the Hawks do whatever they wanted on both ends of the floor, and were in danger of getting run out of the gym at one point. But while they lost Game 1 at home, all hope isn’t lost for the Sixers. They showed a ton of fight to get back in the game, Embiid looks healthy and largely dominated in the paint and they still have some wrinkles to throw at Trae Young.
The Philadelphia 76ers were sloppy and came out with no sense of urgency. It seemed as if they assumed they would get an easy win against the 5th-seeded Atlanta Hawks, with Embiid back in the lineup. However, the 76ers had nine turnovers in the first quarter of the game as the Hawks surged ahead 42-27. The Philadelphia 76ers started the second quarter just like they had the first. With the 76ers continuing their turnovers, the Atlanta Hawks went on an 11-0 run as the latter’s lead ballooned to 26 points.
The Philadelphia 76ers did rally towards the end of the game, but that wasn’t enough, and the Hawks hung on to a win. Nevertheless, the 76ers shot pretty well from the field. Tobias Harris had 20 points on 8-13 shooting, Seth Curry had 21 on 7-12 shooting, while Matisse Thybulle went 4-6. Ben Simmons went perfect from the field, shooting 7 for 7, but his struggles at the charity stripe continued as he went 3-10 on his free throws. His inability to make free throws has cost the Philadelphia 76ers plenty of times down the stretch, with the opposition employing strategies like ‘Hack-a-Simmons’, intentionally fouling the player.
The best player on the court in Game 1 was undoubtedly Joel Embiid, who played with an injured knee. He dropped 39 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks for the Philadelphia 76ers while shooting 12-21 from the field and making 14-15 free throws.
The Atlanta Hawks came out all guns blazing in Game 1. They shot 72% from the field in the first 15 minutes of the game and took a massive 26-point lead. The 76ers were left scratching and clawing their way out of the deficit the entire game. Trae Young led the 76ers’ charge with 12 points, five assists and two steals in the first quarter, ending the half with 25. Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins came up huge, scoring 21 points apiece, while Clint Capela had 11 points and ten rebounds. However, a major factor in the Hawks’ win was their bench, as they outscored the 76ers 34-23.
Kevin Huerter led the way with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal. The Atlanta Hawks have now stolen a game on the road, and even if they lose Game 2, they’ll be heading home with the series tied at 1-1. But if they end up upsetting the 76ers once again on the road, the dynamic of the series will shift significantly in their favor.
Trae Young is enjoying his first-ever playoff run. He has now scored the most points (146) in the first five career playoff games in Hawks’ history. Young is leading his team in points and assists in every playoff game, averaging 30.2 points and 9.8 assists per game thus far. He is a central player in the Atlanta Hawks’ offense, and most of the team’s plays run through him. It is only natural to assume that Doc Rivers’ strategies would be focused on stopping Trae Young.
Even though they lost Game 1, the Sixers check-in as five-point favorites for Game 2. That feels about right. They’re at home, Embiid is playing, they have more talent overall and won’t underestimate their opponent again. The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to enter Game 2 with a chip on their shoulders. They cannot afford to lose another game at home and head to Atlanta down 0-2. So, the 76ers are expected to be extra aggressive in scoring and defense.
They should have more bodies diving for loose balls. Also, they are unlikely to be as careless with the ball as they were in Game 1. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks established their dominance in Game 1 and now have an opportunity to steal another game despite added attention on Trae Young. Unsurprisingly, oddsmakers believe that the Philadelphia 76ers will bounce back and even up the series. This time, they’re favored by just 5 points, while the game total is set at 222.5 points.
It’s safe to say that the 76ers underestimated their opponents in the first game. They thought things would be much easier which should never happen in a playoff game. Eventually, they woke up and what was a twenty point deficit got reduced to four points in the last seconds of the game. It was clear that if the 76ers had one more minute to play, they would have turned things around. However, all games from now on will be different in this series. Atlanta will keep trying to outlast Philadelphia by shooting threes. On the other hand, the 76ers will dominate the paint. All in all, we expect all games to be high-scoring affairs. That’s why we believe that the Over/Under markets offer more value than any other bet. Check our NBA Playoffs 2021 article for our full playoff predictions.
Basketball Betting & NBA Markets/Odds
Now that we have made our prediction on this second round match-up, it’s time to talk about basketball betting. First, it’s crucial to find a great bookmaker that offers various NBA markets with competitive odds. We suggest visiting, the Coinbet24 Bitcoin Sportsbook for the best odds and markets when it comes to NBA betting.
Additionally, visit the Coinbet24 blog to learn more about basketball, the NBA, and basketball betting. Once the first round is done, make sure to check with us again about more predictions. We will cover all the games in the Playoffs, until one of the 16 teams is crowned NBA Champion.