Not even the confines of the State Farm Arena were enough to keep Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers from dominating the Atlanta Hawks. Philadelphia regained home-court advantage with a 127-111 win in Game 3 on Friday and are now -600 to win the series per the Series Prices.
The Sixers had six players score in double digits and shot 58.2 percent from the field for an easy win, thus snapping the Hawks’ 13-game winning streak at home. They’ll look to go up 3-1 in the series on Monday night and are expected to do so as -155 favorites on the online sportsbook. Atlanta will look for answers as a +135 underdog.
76ers: Stay Aggressive
A change of venue did not slow down the Philadelphia 76ers at all. The team picked up where it left off and scored 127 points while also hitting 10 of 21 three-pointers. Everyone on the Sixers save for Furkan Korkmaz and George Hill shot above 50 percent and everyone save for forward Matisse Thybulle had a positive plus-minus.
Philadelphia carved up Atlanta’s thin interior defense as center Clint Capela and forward/center John Collins could do little to stop Embiid or Tobias Harris, who combined for 49 points. The Hawks kept fouling Embiid, who scored 12 of his 27 points from the charity stripe.
Even with Embiid only making seven field goals, Philadelphia still cruised to a win. Losing guard/forward Danny Green stings, but Korkmaz filled in admirably, hitting 3-of-6 3-pointers and registering a game-high +24. With Atlanta on the ropes, Philadelphia should look to keep up the pressure.
Hawks: Backed-Up Backups
So much for that vaunted home defense. The Atlanta Hawks gave it the good ol’ college try but still fell flat on their faces. Collins, Trae Young and guard/forward Bogdan Bogdanovic combined for 70 points on 26-of-44 (59.1 percent) shooting but found little help from anyone else.
The rest of the team was limited to just 13-of-38 (34.2 percent) shooting and were thoroughly outplayed by the Sixers’ role players. The Hawks’ supporting cast played well in Game 1 but were once again a non-factor here. They needed to be the difference behind Young and their stars and they weren’t there.
More importantly, Atlanta needs to figure out how to stop Philadelphia from scoring at will inside the arc. But as a young team and a smaller team, the mismatch is becoming evident. Young can only do so much though their season could be coming to an end.
Pick: Chugging Along
Simply put, the Philadelphia 76ers can’t be stoppedby Atlanta . If they hadn’t fallen asleep in the first half of Game 1, they would be up 3-0 and looking for a sweep. Still, Philadelphia has a 63.6 percent true shooting percent (TS%) for the series with a 125.3 offensive rating.
Embiid is averaging 35.3 points and 10.3 rebounds with 2.3 blocks. Atlanta was supposed to tighten up at home where it ranked as a top-five defense but it’s been the same song and dance. Even with Young still being able to put up solid stats, the team has had to play catch-up.
What’s worrisome for Atlanta is that the Sixers’ defense has also not been optimal in these three games. Philadelphia has been content to play one-way. But when the Sixers’ offense dries up a little, they’ll lock it down. Either way, they won’t be stopped.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -155
Bonus Pick: Don’t Stop Me Now
The over has cashed three out of three times for the NBA betting odds here. That might be the case again, but one thing is nearly a lock: Philly will keep scoring. Whether it’s at the free throw line or from three, the Hawks’ defense has been unable to stop them.
Pick: Team Totals (Philadelphia 76ers) – Over 114½ (-115)