In between the lines
There was a LOT to feel good about with this game. And that’s accounting for the angst and nerves related to injury scares with Danny (calf, end result of boot), Tobi (dumb cameraman) and Jo (any time he makes a slight grimace). The defense was absolutely stifling in a few stretches, a very encouraging scene with a likely battle looming with Brooklyn. Tisse should be commended tonight, you will gladly have him use all six of his fouls against Trae, especially if he is able to hit a three and throw down a few dunks along the way.
Trae was essentially a non-factor. This was one of the quietest 28-point efforts I have ever seen. In fact, he was the game’s high scorer, but he also had 10 of his points in the last 7 minutes after the game was decided. Instead, the best offense of the night goes to the dynamic duo of Jo and Ben. Coming out of halftime, they tortured the young Hawks D and it seems that they could have legitimately had their way against them 2v5.
I was prematurely frustrated when Jo came back in around the seven minute mark up by 20. Doc proved right there as the Hawks still had some fight. However, there is no excuse for him to be on the court with less than one minute in what was a 16-point win. While Doc may have been sending a message that he does not plan to take this Atlanta squad lightly, he definitely shouldn’t be taking any extra wear and tear on a torn meniscus lightly either.
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Another day, another swing and miss by Stephen A. “[Atlanta], the future you have been waiting for, has finally arrived.” If Game 3 is any indication of the future for this Hawks franchise, I guess that sometimes it is better to live in the past. The poor Hawks fans had a tough night as the biggest thing they had to cheer about was when Embiid came up gimpy- stay classy Atlanta.
The bottom line
The Sixers are clearly the better team and appear fully motivated to prove this to everyone the rest of the series. Tell your mom, your neighbor, that Celtics fan at your gym, and definitely tell Stephen A. Let’s also check-in with the wins remaining to a Championship tracker. 10 (as of tonight), then 9-8 to eliminate the Hawks, Seventy-Sixers.