Game 2 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks was a bit one-sided for the 76ers. They essentially had control of the entire game and ran away with it in the fourth quarter. It was a big win for the organization, as it brought the series back to 1-1 as Sixers-Hawks Game 3 is set for Atlanta.
This matchup has all of the makings for a classic playoff series. Trae Young is becoming a superstar before our eyes, while Joel Embiid continues to prove why he should be considered the best center in the league. So far it’s been a great series, and Friday night’s game should live up to expectations.
For the Hawks to improve in the next game, they’re going to need some more effort from the guys down low. Clint Capela is busy trying to slow down Embiid, so look for John Collins to get more involved on the offense. Ben Simmons didn’t score much in the last game, but he was still dominant. Look for him to continue that level of play. With that said, here are three bold predictions for the 76ers-Hawks pivotal Game 3 matchup.
John Collins explodes for 30+ points
The Hawks were outscored 52-44 in the paint in Game 2. Atlanta will aim to improve in that area, as it could be a great equalizer for Game 3. Their best offensive weapon in the post is John Collins, who took a back seat in the scoring department. He only recorded 8 points, which has to improve for the Hawks to win on Friday.
Atlanta should consider getting Collins going early and often, using him as one of the main scoring options alongside Trae Young. Collins is a fantastic power forward with all of the potential in the world. It’s time he starts playing like it and help his team out. If Collins can go out and drop 30+ on Friday night, the Hawks could be well on their way to earning another win.
Ben Simmons goes off for a triple-double
Ben Simmons’s stat line comes off a bit mediocre in Game 2, as he only recorded 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 7 assists. However, he had the best +/- on the team and has been a solid defender against Trae Young. The Sixers didn’t necessarily need his scoring in the last matchup, but that could be a different story for Game 3.
Simmons is at his best when he’s facilitating the ball with ease. However, he could help his team out with rebounding, as the 76ers were out-rebounded 45-37 in Game 2. Simmon has all of the tools to be a triple-double machine, and if he gets going, the Hawks better watch out.
The Hawks take a 2-1 series lead
This game should be a nail-biter, as these two squads continue to figure each other out. Game 1 was a blowout until the 76ers made a miraculous comeback and nearly won, then they ran away with it in Game 2. For the Hawks to win and take a 2-1 series lead, they’ll need everyone to improve their production.
Look for Atlanta to attempt to attack the rim and take over the paint. That’ll be their best bet to win Game 3. It would be a smart move to go after Embiid as well, as it would create the opportunity of putting him into foul trouble. Catch Sixers-Hawks Game 3 on Friday night, as the game tips off at 7:30 pm Eastern.