Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks – NBA, June 11, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| June 11, 2021 6:12 am PDT

Philadelphia travels to Atlanta to face the Hawks in game three of this Semi-final series with the score locked at 1-1. The Hawks fired the first shot in the tie and took a surprise 1-0 lead by the 76ers bounced back in game two to level the series.

So, what did the 76ers do differently in game three? The answer is not a lot. They tightened things up and gave away the ball exactly half as many times as the Hawks. Their shooting stats were similar to game one, except for their three-point shooting, which was better. Atlanta couldn’t maintain the form they showed in game one, and in truth, it was always going to be hard for them to do so.

However, if it will take monumental efforts to win games in this series, you feel they will have to find another way to win. It will be interesting to see if they change anything now the series has moved to the State Farm Arena.

The good news for the Hawks is that this fixture has been one by the home team on six of the previous seven times it has been played, and the Hawks have won four of the last five in Atlanta against the 76ers. They have also won their last 13 games in a row, having home-court advantage. The stand-out area in their game during that period has been their defense which has held their opponents to scores of 93, 95, 94, and 96 in their previous four home matches.

Although the last ten games have been split between these two with five wins each, the 76ers have averaged five points more per game, suggesting when they win, it’s usually by a comfortable margin.

Let’s look at the betting trends for each team, and then I will provide my 76ers vs. Hawks betting prediction.

76ers vs. Hawks Odds

76ers -1.5-110
Hawks +1.5-110
76ers To Win-120
Hawks To Win+105
Over 224.5 Points-110
Under 224.5 Points-110

The setting couldn’t be any closer between these two and reflect the series and the previous ten games between them. This is the closest the betting has been so far in the series and is undoubtedly due to the Hawks’ home-court advantage.

Philadelphia Pile on the Pressure

Can the 76ers pile on the pressure after getting a score on the board in the series and end this formidable home run the Hawks are on? What we know is they play their way, and this isn’t going to change. As discussed in game two, these two play a very similar style of basketball, but the 76ers execute that style a little bit better. So, why would they change the way they play?

Their record on the road hasn’t been the best recently as they have lost three of their last four matches, so facing a team that has won 13 in a row at home might seem a little daunting. However, they have won three of their previous four-game three matches in playoff series. They beat the Wizards, Nets, and Raptors while losing to the Celtics last year.

Here are the latest betting trends for Philadelphia:

  • They have won two-thirds of their last nine games against the spread.
  • Four of their previous five matches have gone over the betting total.
  • Philadelphia is 15-4 in their last 19 games.
  • The 76ers have won four and lost two of their previous six matches with the Hawks again at the spread.
  • The total has gone in 14 of their last 20 games on the road.
  • They have lost on all of their previous six visits to Atlanta against the spread.
  • Philadelphia has only lost two of their last nine games against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • The 76ers have won 13 of their previous 16 matches against teams based in the Southeast Division.

This shows how well the 76ers have played over the past couple of months, but they still have a poor record in Atlanta, which gives the Hawks hope.

The 76ers remain the only team to have shot at over 50% at this stage of the playoffs which is some feat. However, their 69% success rate from the free-throw line is the worst so far, and they need to find a better balance to this.

Their offensive rebounding has been amongst the worst in the playoffs until now, but it hasn’t affected them too much, considering how week they are shooting. However, if that did dessert them, it could become a problem.

Regardless of their free-throw shooting and rebounding, they still have the best attack in the playoffs this season, averaging 123-points per game.

As well as their shooting, they have passed the ball excellently, moving down the court like a well-oiled machine at times.

Their defense has also been impressive, and they have averaged the most steals and blocks per game in the playoffs. They have taken an abrasive approach so far, which has worked for them up until now. Matisse Thybulle has been at the heart of their defense, and he has stepped his game up in the playoffs, proving the big occasions do not faze him.

Another player who has been an integral part of this defense is defensive player of the season runner-up Ben Simmons. Many feel Simmons should have won the award instead of Rudy Gobert, but in all truth, both players have had fantastic seasons to be proud of. My take on why he lost is he has had a lot more help from his teammates than Gobert has.

Joel Embiid remains questionable to play again tonight as he continues to struggle with his knee injury that won’t go away. And it’s not likely to until he gets some rest. If I were coaching the 76ers, I would leave him out this evening and try and get him ready for game four as you feel he is only doing more damage playing through the pain barrier.

Plus, if they did leave him out this evening, in some way, it would relieve the pressure and expectation on the 76ers, especially when they have such a poor record in Atlanta anyway.

Hawks Hoping to Keep the Run Going

The Hawks have looked unstoppable at home recently. Apart from Washington, no other team has looked close to toppling the Hawks. This includes wins over the Knicks, Suns, Trail Blazers, Bucks, Heat, and the Pacers.

I don’t think they did a massive amount wrong in game two. The 76ers were more efficient with the ball and therefore controlled the game. Although they lost the previous game, they have to look at the bigger picture and remember they have only lost three of their previous 15 matches.

Atlanta has won their previous two-game three matches against the Knicks and the Wizards and can take confidence from those wins.

Here are the latest betting trends for Atlanta:

  • The Hawks have won four of their previous five matches against the spread.
  • Eight of their last ten games have gone under the betting total.
  • Only two of their previous seven matches against teams from the Atlantic Division have failed to go under the points total.
  • The total has gone over in eight of their last nine games played on a Friday.

There isn’t a massive amount to go on here, other than the Hawks have done well against the spread in the playoffs so far.

The Hawks have been deadly from the free-throw line so far in the playoffs, and they need to replicate this in regular time if they are to regain the lead in the series.

They also need to maintain the dominance they showed with their offensive rebounding in game two and prove this wasn’t a one-off. The Hawks certainly have the game to do this as they have made a high number of defensive rebounds in the playoffs so far.

The most significant difference between the two teams has been the way they have both moved and used the ball. This was clear in game two, and I believe the telling factor in the 76ers win. They have the players to achieve this, especially in Trae Young, who can unlock defenses with ease usually.

Atlanta also needs to start making more steals as they don’t see enough of the ball against Philadelphia.

The battle between Capela and Embiid is fascinating, and it has been relatively level so far. However, you have to remember Embiid is carrying an injury. If he does play tonight, surely Capela will look to pray on that injury and win this battle and the game for his team.

Atlanta has three players missing this evening in Goodwin, Hunter, and Reddish. However, they are hopeful that Dunn will feature following an illness.

My Betting Pick for 76ers vs. Hawks

  • Hawks To Win

The fact that the series has moved to Atlanta is most certainly a leveler in this one. You can’t deny the Hawks look formidable at home right now, and the 76ers have looked a little shaky on the road over the past week or so. The Hawks have it in them to move the ball better than they did in game two and throughout the playoffs, which would close the gap on the 76ers.

Philadelphia has been ultra-consistent so far, and any slight weakness shown by their opponents has been pounced upon. However, they also have to contend with the possibility of playing without their star player tonight, and if he does play, how fit will he be?

There are so many permutations to this one, but you can’t ignore the Hawks’ home record, and I believe they can regain the lead in this one tonight.