Atlanta Hawks vs Philadelphia 76ers NBA Conference Quarterfinals Preview and Picks
Key Player and Preview
The Philadelphia 76ers haven't held a championship since 1983.
This season seemed like their best chance at a parade since 2001, when they lost in five games in the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.
When MVP finalist Joel Embiid suffered a minor lateral meniscus tear in his right knee in Game 4 of the first round against the Washington Wizards, the Sixers' championship aspirations were undermined.
The seeded Sixers have ejected the Wizards in five games and will now open the Eastern Conference semifinals at home Sunday afternoon against the fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks.
Embiid missed 21 of 72 regular-season games and the Sixers were 10-11 without him. They won Game 5 against the Wizards without Embiid.
In the decisive victory over the Wizards, Seth Curry scored 30 points, Harris added 28 points and nine rebounds and Ben Simmons had his third triple-double in the playoffs with 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
For the Sixers to advance, they will likely need Embiid's presence to defeat the Hawks. The Sixers characterized Embiid as a day to day.
The Hawks defeated the New York Knicks in five games in the first round thanks in large part to Trae Young.
The expanding Hawks finished 27-11 after head coach Nate McMillan replaced former Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce on March 1 to capture the No. 5 seed.
Young averaged 32.7 points in three games in New York when the Hawks won their first playoff series in five years. So Young won't be fazed by the huge crowds in Philadelphia.
Young had 36 points and nine assists in the series, a 103-89 win.
However, the Hawks have a lot of poise. Clint Capela had 14 points and 15 rebounds in Game 5 against the Knicks and will have a clear advantage if Embiid can't play. DeAndre Hunter added 15 points and John Collins had 13.
Three starters, including Young, are 23 or younger. But after the victory over the Knicks, the group's conviction grew.
|WINNER: Philadelphia 76ers @ ML|
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