NBA Playoff Preview – Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks: All eyes on Joel Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers are the clear favorites in the Conference Semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, but there are again concerns about Joel Embiid. How fit is the MVP candidate and how good are these hawks really? Game 1 of the series takes place on Sunday at 7 p.m.

Watch game 1 between the Sixers and Hawks at 7 p.m. live on DAZN! Get your free month now!

SPOX gives an outlook on all series of the conference semifinals in the coming days. Here is an overview of all series.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks: The starting point

It wouldn’t be the Sixers if there wasn’t a certain amount of uncertainty despite a sovereign first-round win over the Washington Wizards (4-1). The reason for this is of course the injury to Joel Embiid, who tore a small tear in the meniscus in game 4 when he collided with Wizards center Robin Lopez.

Now the Sixers attach great importance to the word “small”, but if we have learned one thing in recent years, it is that the Sixers are extremely reluctant to speak the truth about injuries (see Markelle Fultz). Still, there is apparently hope that Embiid can already play in game 1. He is officially listed as questionable. It’s a dangerous game because a crack remains a crack and could potentially worsen under stress.

Game 5 against the Wizards was dominated by the Sixers even without their MVP candidate, with Ben Simmons being the center for long periods. That opened up space for Seth Curry or Tobias Harris, who held the ball more in their hands and were convincing in their roles. This should be an option again, should it not be enough for Embiid to kick off.

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Sixers vs. Hawks: the series at a glance

game date Time Home Away
1 6. June 19 o’clock Sixers Hawks
2 9. June 1:30 Sixers Hawks
3 12. June 1:30 Hawks Sixers
4 15. June tba Hawks Sixers
5* 17. June tba Sixers Hawks
6* 19. June tba Hawks Sixers
7* 21. June tba Sixers Hawks

There are no such problems on the other side. With the exception of Cam Reddish, coach Nate McMillan can draw on the full potential, something that has rarely happened this season. It opens up completely new possibilities, especially for Trae Young. The playmaker played an excellent first playoff series, the defensive Knicks found no answer, but they didn’t really try too much.

It was still a good test for the Hawks, meanwhile McMillan staggered the minutes of Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic, which kept the offense going for 48 minutes. At the back, Clint Capela keeps the store tight, plugging many a hole that gets torn. The Swiss has improved again and is an even better defender than when he was Rockets.

With Embiid, however, a real endurance test is waiting for the federal bull. In the regular season, Capela looked pretty good against the Cameroonian, who didn’t even hit 45 percent of the field against the Hawks in three games.

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