The Hawks’ DeAndre Hunt will not face the 76ers after being ruled out for the rest of the season
On Tuesday night, the 76ers Flatten Thanks to Joel Embiid’s outstanding performance, Shake Milton’s breakthrough game and the breathless defense against Trae Young, they defeated the Eagles 1-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinal series. A day later, some major news came from Atlanta, announcing that forward (Philadelphia native) DeAndre Hunter, the fourth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, is about to undergo surgery and will not play for another season.
DeAndre Hunter of the Hawks is absent this season and he will undergo meniscus surgery.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 9, 2021
Hunter missed the first two games of the 76ers series with a sore knee-now we know why, because the team found a new partial tear in his meniscus-averaged every time in the first round of the Hawks series. The game against the Knicks played more than 30 minutes. Although he averaged less than 11 points per game in that series (lower than his average of 15 points per game this season), his absence was a big problem for the Hawks, especially on the defensive end.
Of course, defending Embiid has always been Atlanta’s biggest problem. This is not something the 6-foot-8-inch Friends Central product will be asked to do, but the MVP runner-up is not the only one to beat the Eagles. With Hunter out, this not only took away one of his best defenders, it also messed up all of Nate McMillan’s rotation and created some obvious holes for his team on the defensive end.
More here Chris Kirschner from The Athletic…
Hunter missed two games with a sore right knee, but no Hunter’s injury was that he could defend any of these players one-on-one, except Embiid. This may limit one of the Philadelphia team’s scoring options, while allowing the other four Eagles to focus more on their individual duels. The Hawks did not defend well in these two games. Part of the reason is because they often turn the ball over, and for this 76ers, these mistakes will bother them. The 76ers lead the NBA in forcing turnovers in the regular season. In Game 2 alone, Philadelphia scored a positive 8.5 points per 100 possessions in the conversion offense.
Hunter will also be a massive upgrade to Solomon Hill, who replaced him as a small forward in both games. Hill’s defense was uneven at best, and he didn’t offer anything on the other end of the court. […]
In this series, the Hawks lack the personal guards needed to slow down the 76ers. Bogdan Bogdanovic cannot effectively defend Harris or Curry. Hill did not slow down Harris. John Collins is not strong enough to help Capella on Embiid. It is a high requirement for the Eagles to provide resistance at the end of the court without Hunter. Although they won the first game, they demonstrated this in both games. [theathletic.com]
As you can see, the lack of Hunter on the remaining road will weaken the Hawks’ defense. And his teammates know it well.
“We miss him very much,” Tre Young said, according to reports Sports meeting“You will definitely miss his presence, especially on the defensive end. He is an excellent point guard and assist guard. He is really good at reading defense. At the same time, he can also score on the other end.’Dre is out. We will definitely miss a large part of our offense and defense, but no one feels sorry for us. We still need to find a way to win.”
The Eagles have been hoping to get Hunter back at some point in this series, possibly in time for the crucial third game in Atlanta on Friday night, but it is now clear that this will not happen.
Having said that, before the first round against the Knicks, Hunter only played 5 regular season games for the team from February 1, and the Eagles still led 31-22 during that time, including in After McMillan won, the absurd 27-11 ended on March 1. Despite his absence, they were still able to split the first two games of the series in Philadelphia. Maybe it is not as big as we thought?
Maybe, but this is not the regular season. As this series progresses, the 76ers may eventually have too many weapons. If Doc Rivers can find a way to attack any weakness left in the Hunter vacancy, then it can really stretch Atlanta’s defense.
With the 76ers’ weapons, this will cause trouble for the Eagles.
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