As the semifinals of the NBA playoffs are now underway one thing is safe to say, this year’s postseason has been unpredictable to say the least. To keep that same energy, the Atlanta Hawks stunned the Philadelphia 76ers 128-124 on Sunday afternoon.
It seems as though underdogs are thriving this year. That’s the theme. Whether you have more talent or a higher seed, it just hasn’t mattered when it comes to the win/loss column. Look at the first-round results. LeBron James and the Lakers have more talent, but fell to the Phoenix Suns 4-2. Damian Lillard and a healthy Portland Trailblazers fell to an undermanned Denver Nuggets 4-2. Lastly, the 5th seed Hawks gentlemen swept the 4th seed Knicks 4-1.
Most likely riding that high from their series with the Knicks, the Hawks played a dominating game against the East’s top-seeded 76ers to start off their semifinals. At one point they lead by 26 against Embiid and the 76ers.
If you turned to the game late, you certainly weren’t the only one surprised to see how lopsided this one was. At halftime it was 74-54, Hawks. Not only were the 76ers the higher seed, but they were 2-1 against the Hawks this year.
The way the Hawks performed on Sunday though, you wouldn’t be able to tell. They shot 51.2% FG, 42.6% 3FG and made 20/21 free throws.
On the other hand, the only thing going for the 76ers was the fact that they shot 54.9% FG. Besides that, they shot 34.5% 3FG, 68.6% FT and they turned the ball over 19 times (seven times in the second half alone). These numbers were all below their season averages.
“It was a great start. We had a great start to the game,” said Trae Young. “Guys were locked in and focused from the jump and it was good to see…The best thing that happened today is that we won, and we have a lot of things that we can get better at so I’m not mad about that.”
So, now that the series is 1-0 in favor of the Hawks it’ll be very interesting to see how the 76ers, who many picked to win the East, will respond at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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