The Atlanta Hawks were able to upset the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their second-round NBA postseason series.
The Hawks win a thriller and take Game 1 from the Sixers 😱 pic.twitter.com/6hnKNiHcmD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 6, 2021
The Hawks played a great game and caught the 76ers off guard.
At one point in the first half, the Hawks went on a 17-0 run.
However, the 76ers fought their way back toward the end of the game.
An epic collapse almost ensued, but the Hawks still prevailed.
Now the Hawks have home-court advantage for the series.
They came out and executed very well.
Can they keep on executing throughout the series is the real question.
The Hawks can upset the number-one seeded 76ers
Here is why.
3. Force the Supporting Cast To Beat You
The 76ers have a dominant force on their team in Joel Embiid.
Stopping him is unlikely.
It is best to just try and contain him.
That might be a difficult task as well.
Perhaps it is better to force the other guys to score and make plays.
Tobias Harris is a good offensive threat, but can lack aggressiveness at times.
Ben Simmons is not a scorer in the slightest.
None of these players are Embiid.
The man was the frontrunner for MVP until his injury.
The Hawks can’t win thinking that they can fully stop the big man.
They need to see if the supporting cast can take them out.
2. Joel Embiid Is Hurt
It is surprising to see Embiid already back on the court.
Before this series had begun, reports came out saying that Embiid had a small tear in his meniscus.
Injuries like this to a big man of his physical stature and injury history is damaging.
However, he still played in Game 1 and was great.
Joel Embiid says his knee feels ok
"Playing on a torn meniscus is not easy. But it's alright. I just have to keep managing it and hope for the best” pic.twitter.com/0RpnVRoO1J
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) June 6, 2021
The Hawks did exploit the injury, though.
They forced Embiid to defend the high pick and roll.
Their game plan was to have Embiid move around on that hurt knee.
The plan worked out in their favor.
This injury is not going away overnight.
The Hawks need to keep pressuring Embiid’s knee for the remainder of the series.
1. The Trae Young Show
Young has emerged as one of the brightest stars of the playoffs so far.
The third-year guard has been tremendous throughout the first round and the first game of the second round.
Trae put on a phenomenal performance in Game 1 against the 76ers.
Trae Young WENT OFF to steal Game 1 on the road vs. the Sixers 😤 pic.twitter.com/bweElsU05A
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 6, 2021
Whether it is at home or on the road, Young is not afraid of the moment.
He has developed this villain mentality toward the opposing teams.
The bright lights of Madison Square Garden did not phase him, and nor will the tough Philadelphia crowd.
He has shown to be special and a leader for this Hawks team.
Young is ready to showcase to the world his talent and that his team is ready to win.
The 76ers are going to have a tough series against this hungry Hawks team.