After a win in Detroit that felt more satisfying than the 6-point margin of victory would lead you to believe, the Sixers headed down south and will take on the Atlanta Hawks tonight at State Farm Arena. The Sixers look to hand a young Hawks team their first loss of the season after the Hawks defeated the Detroit Pistons in their season opener, and then squeaked out a win over everyone’s former favorite son, Markelle Fultz, and the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
As stated, this Hawks starting 5 is young – and no, not just Trae Young (such a bad pun, I’m sorry). In the first two games of the season, their starting 5 averages out to be 22.2 years old, and that’s with elder statesman Alex Len, at a whopping 26 years old, pulling that average way up. De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, the 4th and 10th picks in this year’s draft, respectively, have earned starting minutes with this Hawks team. However, I think it is safe to say that the Hawks wouldn’t be sitting at 2-0 without the talents of second-year point guard Trae Young. Young is averaging 9 assists and 7 rebounds a game – in addition to a league-leading 38.5 points a game. Matisse Thybulle did a great job containing Kemba Walker in the season opener, so it should be fun if he gets to showcase his defensive prowess against Young.
At the time of this writing, Joel Embiid is listed as questionable for tonight’s game. As we saw against the Pistons, this is not as much of a death sentence as it had been in the past. No longer do we have to sit through Greg Monroe back-up minutes when Embiid is out, and instead get to enjoy Al Horford, who had a huge 4th quarter against Detroit, and Kyle O’Quinn. Tobias Harris had a 29-point offensive output against the Pistons, especially notable after a slower start in the first game of the season. Look for Harris to continue his momentum against the Hawks.
Philadelphia: Joel Embiid (questionable – ankle)
Atlanta: Alex Len (probable – ribs), Allen Crabbe (OUT – knee), Bruno Fernando (questionable – ankle)