Absurd stat that almost doomed Joel Embiid, Sixers vs. Hawks
However, despite Embiid’s sensational display that saw him put up 40 points and 13 rebounds, the Sixers got quite the scare when the Hawks clawed their way back in the first half and cut the lead to just two heading to halftime.
Of course, the Sixers center was not to blame for the near collapse. Instead, head coach Doc Rivers should look at the bench. In the first half alone, the Philly reserves were outscored by the Hawks’ 32-0. Overall, Atlanta’s second unit made 49 points compared to Philadelphia’s 26 points.
The Hawks' bench outscored the Sixers' second unit 32-0 in the first half. PHI leads 57-55 at the break.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 9, 2021
Fortunately, Shake Milton pulled the second unit out of the hole and banked 14 points as the Sixers created some separation and pulled away for good. Philly is also a bit lucky to see Seth Curry explode with 21 points behind his 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point territory.
Despite getting the victory, Doc Rivers, Joel Embiid and the Sixers certainly can’t get too comfortable. They cannot afford to have the second unit play like they did in Game 2 or else it could be a long series that they might lose control of.
Young can go hot any time and score 30 or more points, while John Collins can also do the same. Meanwhile, there are still concerns on Embiid’s torn meniscus and Philly might want to make quick work of Atlanta in order to give their star big man some rest.