Joel Embiid was down in Game 4 of the Sixers’ first-round series against the Wizards, missing the rest of the game and the series. His situation was unknown going into the second round. Even moments before Tuesday night’s game, it was uncertain if he’d be able to play.
The worry turned out to be unfounded. Embiid has not only been able to play, but he has dominated. Clint Capela is a solid defensive center, but he lacks the strength to handle Embiid’s force on the block. He was unstoppable on Tuesday night, hitting jumpers and rumbling inside, where he also drew many fouls. The decision to exclude him early in the fourth quarter of the game that had already won was weird. Still, Embiid ended with 40 points.
The Hawks won Game 1 of this series. Young did whatever he wanted on offense. Danny Green was given the primary assignment, but he couldn’t bother the point guard, finishing thirty-five points and making ten assists in that game.
There was a lot of speculation about why Ben Simmons wasn’t introduced to the game to hold young from scoring. Their coach stated that Simmons was concerned about foul trouble. Though Young did get a lot of fouls, that sounded like an odd explanation.
In any event, the Sixers swapped in Game 2, and it paid off big time. In the first quarter, Simmons even blocked one of Young’s three-point efforts. Overall, Young’s length and stature made life considerably more difficult for him. Though he ended with 21 points and 11 assists, he shot 6-of-16 from the floor and did not have the same effect he had earlier in the Hawks’ playoff run.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid led the charge with a career playoff-high 40 points. Still, he received plenty of support along the way. Tobias Harris dominated the first quarter claiming 22 points. At the same time, Seth Curry caught fire from beyond the arc, making five of his six tries for 21 points. Trae Young and Danilo charged were taking charge finishing the game off with 21 points.
Both teams fought back and forth throughout the game at Wells Fargo Center. Atlanta gained a significant lead, but the hawks responded in kind with their shooting stats. Hawks established a 20 point lead in the fourth quarter of the match, but it wasn’t enough to stop Atlanta from winning the game.