It’s a battle of Eastern Conference teams on the parquet floor down in Hotlanta. The shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers are on the road as they make the trip down the east coast to face the Atlanta Hawks Monday night. Philadelphia came up on the short end of a 115-103 home loss to Denver on Saturday afternoon in their most recent contest. Atlanta was dropped 113-105 on the road by Charlotte as they were swept in the home-and-home set. The 76ers hold a 194-190 edge in the all-time regular season series between the teams and took two of the three meetings last season. That includes a 129-112 home win in the most recent matchup on February 24, 2020.
Philadelphia 76ers Playing Shorthanded
Philadelphia suffered their second straight loss as they were knocked off at home by Denver Saturday afternoon. The 76ers dropped to 7-3 on the season and sit tied for first in the Atlantic Division with Boston. Against Denver, the 76ers were without Seth Curry (tested positive for COVID-19), Tobias Harris, Vincent Poirier, Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton (health and safety protocols – contact tracing), Mike Scott (knee), Furkan Korkmaz (adductor strain), Joel Embiid (back) and Ben Simmons (knee), leaving them seven active players, including Scott. In the game, Philadelphia trailed by two after the opening quarter, by seven at the half and were outscored 35-21 in the third quarter to trail by 21. The 76ers made a little move in the final stanza to make the score more respectable but never threatened to get back in the game. Philadelphia shot 41.7 percent from the field, including 11 of 35 from three-point range, but allowed Denver to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Tyrese Maxey led the 76ers with 39 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the loss.
For the year, Philadelphia is 13th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 113 points per contest this season. The 76ers are eighth in rebounding by pulling down 47 boards per game while they stand 7th in assists by dishing out 26.1 dimes a night. Philadelphia is good on the defensive end of the floor in the early going as they are eighth in the league by allowing 108.5 points per game. Joel Embiid leads the team with 24.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season. Tobias Harris contributes 19 points plus 7.9 rebounds per contest while Seth Curry adds 17 points a night. Ben Simmons (13.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, seven assists) and Shake Milton (14.1 points) are averaging in double figures as well. Furkan Korkmaz, Danny Green, Dwight Howard, Tyrese Maxey (10.1 points), Mike Scott and Matisse Thybulle are key contributors for Philadelphia. The 76ers are 8th in the league in field goal percentage as they hit 47.8 percent of their attempts from the floor. Philadelphia is 23rd as they connect on 11.9 three-pointers a game while the team is 11th in three-point shooting as they knock down 37.5 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc this year. Korkmaz has been out since December 28 with an adductor strain and is expected back sometime next week. Scott has been out with a knee injury. Curry tested positive for COVID-19, missed Thursday’s game, and is going to be out several games. The names mentioned above (Harris, Milton, Poirier, Thybulle) are yet to have a timetable for return.
Atlanta Hawks Hoping to Return to .500
Atlanta suffered their fourth straight loss as they were swept in a home-and-home series with Charlotte. It marked their fifth loss in six games after a 3-0 start and they enter this one 4-5 on the year, leaving them 1.5 games behind Orlando for the Southeast Division lead. Against the Hornets, Atlanta led by one after the opening quarter only to be outscored 31-21 in the second quarter to trail by nine at the half. The Hawks couldn’t get back to even as they drew no closer than two in the second half en route to the loss. Atlanta shot 37.4 percent from the field, including 14 of 46 from beyond the arc, and allowed Charlotte to shoot 51.9 percent from the field in the contest. Cam Reddish led the Hawks with 21 points off the bench in the loss.
The Hawks enter this contest 10th in scoring offense by averaging 114.1 points per game. Atlanta is 21st in rebounding by collecting 43.1 boards a night while the team stands 17th by dishing out 23.9 assists per contest. Atlanta is 17th in the league in scoring defense as they allow opponents to score 111.2 points per game this season. Trae Young leads the team with 24.7 points and 8.6 assists per game this season. John Collins puts up 17.2 points plus 7.8 rebounds a night. De’Andre Hunter chips in 16.4 points a game while Kevin Huerter (12.2 points) and Cam Reddish (11.6 points) are averaging in double figures. Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, Solomon Hill, Brandon Goodwin and Bruno Fernando are key rotation pieces for coach Lloyd Pierce. Atlanta is 25th in the league in field goal percentage by hitting 44.4 percent of their shots from the floor this season. The Hawks are 8th in threes per game as they hit 13.7 per contest and stand 20th in three-point percentage as they hit only 35.4 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Gallinari suffered an ankle sprain on January 2 and is out a few weeks. Rondo is dealing with a knee injury while Onyeka Okongwu is rehabbing a foot injury.