In between the lines
What a bizarre game. The Hawks could have and probably should have won this game going away by 25+ points. Instead, it’s completely fair to say that the Sixers lost to the clock as a 50-minute game would have likely meant victory for the home team.
For a majority of the afternoon, Atlanta could absolutely not miss and Trae tormented a completely incapable Danny Green (more on that in a minute). But Embiid did Embiid things which included dropping 39 points in his return from what remains a very concerning injury. Seth and Tobi both went for 20 points again. Also, it’s never a lost game when Tisse hits two 3s and looks very confident in firing away from deep four times in total.
The biggest X-factor today never stepped onto the court. Doc lost this game, in more ways than one. His rotations continue to mystify (if you are going to have Ben and Dwight share the floor together, you better have three ready, willing and able shooters on the floor alongside them). On a related note, he is still running a 10 man rotation (and that is discounting a very LONG minute from Shook Milton- thanks Dave!). But the big issue was the Danny Green on Trae situation. No words or sarcasm will do this justice. I will instead note that the irony is not lost on me that Doc refused to make the necessary adjustments on the day his old time the Clippers played a great Game 7 to advance to the second round.
The best from online
Here’s a pick-me-up after the Game 1 loss
The bottom line
The Sixers nearly overtook a shell-shocked Hawks team down the stretch, in which they would have overcome red-hot shooting from the other team, inept coaching from their team, 74 points dropped on them in the first half and 19 turnovers. Add that all up, and it tells me that the Sixers will win this series. It will go six or seven, but when the chips are down, I think the Sixers recent playoff experience will be the different maker. Just keep Danny Green as far away as possible from Trae.