The Philadelphia 76ers took their first lead of the series after winning Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks, due to strong performances from Ben Simmons on both ends of the floor and another dominant night from big man Joel Embiid. The Hawks seem to have no answer for Embiid on the defensive side of the ball, but every time they threw a double team at him, he was able to give it up to Simmons, Tobias Harris and Seth Curry to generate some offense.
The Hawks got big performances from Trae Young and John Collins, but that wasn't enough to overcome a Sixers team that made life difficult for Young every trip down the floor. Philadelphia will have the opportunity to take a commanding 3-1 series lead with the chance of eliminating Atlanta in Game 5, so there's a lot on the line Monday night. Here's everything you need to know ahead of Game 4.
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(1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks
- Date: Monday, June 14 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: State Farm Arena -- Atlanta, Georgia
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT
- Odds: PHL -160; ATL +140 | O/U: 225.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
76ers: Although the Sixers came away with a win in Game 3, they also suffered a sizable blow as Danny Green suffered a calf strain is expected to miss at least two weeks with the injury. Green's absence creates a hole in the starting lineup, which could require young guard Matisse Thybulle to step in and fill his shoes. Thybulle has been tasked with sharing defensive assignments alongside Simmons in guarding Young, so adding him to the starting lineup will give Doc Rivers another versatile defender to contain not only Young but also Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has had a great series thus far. It's an unfortunate injury for Green and the Sixers, but Philadelphia has some depth to cover up for his absence at least for the rest of this series.
Hawks: Atlanta has tried to contain Embiid, and so far it hasn't worked at all. The Hawks don't have the personnel to really slow him down, so the next best option is to limit his ability to find shooters out on the wing. Let Embiid get his points, but don't allow anyone else to contribute. It worked in Game 1, but there was also some poor shooting on the Sixers' part. But the point is, the Hawks can't really afford to double Embiid and run the risk of leaving Curry open in the corner or Harris and Simmons open to drive in the paint. If Atlanta can't figure out how to adjust, then this series could be coming to an end very soon.
After stumbling in Game 1, the Sixers have looked like a far better team, and the Hawks simply don't have an answer for their size. Losing De'Andre Hunter was a huge blow on both ends of the ball for Atlanta, and unfortunately it has become very glaring that they need his defense against the likes of Harris and Simmons. Losing Green is huge for the Sixers as well, but they're better equipped to push through that injury and still win. Pick: 76ers -3