Five likes and dislikes of the 76ers in their third win over the Atlanta Hawks
The following Outstanding performance in the second game76ers center Joel Embiid reminded everyone after the game that Philadelphia’s achievements are very limited and most of the work has yet to be completed. After winning in Atlanta on Friday night, the 76ers are two games away from the conference finals. They made some adjustments to their strategy on both ends of the court, which reversed the series. Atlanta’s best counterattack in Game 3 proved to be ineffective in stopping Philadelphia’s best players or getting the game to end for most of the time.
They may be just a game, but the 76ers look like the front runners. Here are a few things that stand out on Friday night.
Like: Make more demands on Ben Simmons
The biggest fan of Ben Simmons won’t tell you he played well while watching the first half of the third game. The 76ers were ahead of Atlanta, but Simmons was an offensive passenger in the first 24 minutes and needed some kind of shock to get him forward. It comes in the form of halftime information and instructions, which are communicated by the coaching staff and his teammates before they speak again.
Rivers said after the game: “Yes, we just think he missed too many opportunities in the fast break and low post, so we told him that we should come out and let him stand in the low post and be aggressive.” I have always thought that when you let him start passing, he will become very aggressive in the game. He is great for us. This is exactly the speed and strength we need. He is great.”
The message was loud and clear. Simmons started work in the penalty area and started work in the final decisive third quarter, scoring 11 points and 3 assists when the 76ers retreated. This will inspire some people to question why he doesn’t just do this all the time, if he only needs to make it the focus of the intermission. I think this missed the point-the 76ers (and Simmons!) realized that he could provide more space, followed this vision, and won.
It is basically impossible to miss the focus of the intermission. The 76ers are doing their best to get Simmons to match John Collins and eventually Danilo Gallinari in the penalty area, and they are comfortable with the physical mismatch in these two situations. Atlanta seemed to feel the same way, because they tried to help Simmons more than once. All that was done was to provide Simmons with an opportunity to find a shooter, which made it more difficult to prove the reason for helping in the first place.
Going this route may easily be counterproductive in Philadelphia, and it can be said that it was necessary first, because Atlanta’s reporting of Joel Embiid has changed. The Eagles sent two, sometimes three defenders when receiving the ball to deal with the big men, to make other players dare to beat them, and Embiid to hurt them as a passer.
“I saw the way they protected me,” Joel Embiid said on Friday. “[Clint Capela] Don’t want me to be alone. Even though I was at halftime, they didn’t seem to want me to touch the ball, and once the ball was in the air, they doubled me. But I just told him that he needs to be aggressive, he needs to attack. There is a lot of space, especially the way they defend me, so I told him to be aggressive, play and rule. “
Throughout the game, please note that Simmons was also expected to check Eagles guard Tre Young, who had another downturn in the night, and now he is facing an opponent who is not Danny Green, he looks panicked. While defending the opponent’s most important offensive player, Simmons is still able to organize the offense to build a good team. When you think about the moment when people want this from him, it’s both encouraging and a little bit irritating. The man passed in anger.
But even the coaching staff seems to feel the need to ensure that they don’t demand too much of him, as revealed in the conversation that Rivers shared with reporters on Friday.
Rivers said: “When you think about what we ask them to do-follow Tre Young, follow him around the screen and push the ball to the floor with speed, that’s all we talked about at halftime. “One of my coaches reminded me that when I yelled at him about speed issues, he was defending Trey. He said,’He is also defending Trey,’ so it’s tough, but he is very young and he has Endurance, so it’s good for us.”
This is a two-half story, but the good half of Simmons is so dominant that the other half is irrelevant. Spent a nice night on the road.
Like: Philadelphia’s defensive effort
Simmons won most of the accolades for Young’s downturn in this series, and it was a matter of course. But between Embiid’s defense and the other changes Philadelphia has made in the past two games, it’s far from a person’s job. The 76ers are taking over the defensive series, fulfilling their promise after an excellent regular season.
By default, any team with Embiid and Simmons as the cornerstone will perform well on defense. The difference this season is their ability to mix and match styles, their ability to adapt to situations when necessary, and their ability to transform bad defenders into at least passable members of a good system. Dan Burke completed the last part many times in Indiana, and he did the same thing in Philadelphia, which is certainly commendable.
To illustrate this point, I will ask you to pay attention to one of the heroes who won on Friday night: Furkan Korkmaz. He may be the last person you think of when discussing Philadelphia’s defensive tenacity this season, but that’s what makes him such a useful example of team development this season.
The person who ultimately played a role in the clip below is Joel Embiid, who is in one of the best defensive phases of the monster’s career. But watching Korkmaz gain a foothold on the ball, and when Seth Curry is blocked on the screen, he turns to Bogdan Bogdanovic and finishes the game. If the 76ers need him, he is ready to step in:
Crucially, if the ball is passed to Kevin Hert, Korkmaz will never be too far away to help his teammates or recover someone who is defending himself. Without the spectacular game Embiid played here, the game would have been lost in 48 minutes, but in the end it is a good example of how you can win in the end.
In the next game, Korkmaz was the one who eventually broke the pass and allowed Philadelphia to run in the other direction, so his efforts were rewarded. But the work before that was equally important-Korkmaz helped the helper (in this case Embiid) by sinking on Clint Capella long enough to provide Embiid with a window of recovery. When Embiid helped him late in the clock after another screen in Atlanta, Kolkmaz was again in the assist position. This time the ball passed in his direction, passing breakthroughs and turnovers were forced to:
In the end, when Kokmaz and other members of the bench have to defend alone or navigate the maze of screens, they will still be in big trouble. They are bench players for a reason. But seeing role players contribute to their defensive success is a testament to their achievements this season, whether strong or not. They have an impact without gambling, which is a powerful thing.
Dislike: George Hill’s struggle
I don’t think George Hill is the worst 76ers player in this round or playoffs, but he has one of the most disappointing situations. You expect players like Milton and Maxi to have some ups and downs in the playoffs, which is why you get out of the game first and get a veteran guard. He should be the safety blanket for the second unit, but never.
Hill’s first quarter playing time against Atlanta on Friday night may have been his worst playing time in a 76ers uniform. These are the mistakes you would expect a nervous teenager to make in the playoffs, not someone who has played among a few contenders and looked calm in most playoffs:
Although he came up with a good steal on the other end to help off the ball, Hill’s defense was not very good on Friday night. As we all know, even in the latter part of his career, Lou Williams is a tough guy who can hardly control the dribble, but Hill is usually up to the task of slowing down the sixth man in the world. Being forgotten by Sweet Lou made his offensive incompetence worse.
I think you let him through this fear, but now is not a good time for them to acquire at the deadline, and it has become more difficult to sell him as an alternative starter for our next person…
Dislike: Danny Green stepped down
There was not much information after the game, but for Danny Green, it did not look good. He left the game with a calf injury and was spotted on the sidelines wearing walking boots on Friday night. Even in the best of circumstances, the 76ers may have to survive at least part of the series without one of the starting five.
“This is a calf injury, just my PhD. I will tell you that the calf injury is not serious,” Rivers said. “I don’t rule out Danny, but I almost ruled out him. I doubt whether he will participate in the next game.”
Despite all the sadness he has experienced in this series, Green is still a key part of the 76ers’ starting lineup this year. When the opponent decides to pay extra attention to Embiid’s direction in the low post, Green will help him there in one form or another, as a capable passer and exit, or a reliable corner shooter on the opposite wing. . When other people move on the outside and try to open for him, Embiid will make miscommunication and mistakes, but rarely goes with Green. There is a lot of value in always being in the right place at the right time, and as the stakes in the playoffs get bigger, they almost certainly need someone with extensive experience.
A future date with Brooklyn is imminent in the next round-assuming the Bucks don’t unite for the series-the 76ers will need all the space and defensive toughness they can get. We will discuss this issue later today.
Like: Attacking Tre Young on the defensive end
Continuing the trend of winning the second game, the 76ers aggressively attacked Yang on Friday’s defensive end. Atlanta made the risky decision to use the Lou Williams/Trey Young combination in the first half of Game 3, and the 76ers took advantage of it almost immediately.
If there is a glimmer of hope for Green’s injury, you can say it is here. The Hawks are eager to hide Young in someone who will not deviate too far from the bottom corner, and Green is Atlanta’s best choice to achieve this goal. Philadelphia used Green more proactively on screens in the second game, but this method has an upper limit, partly because if the Hawks try to give you such a matchup, you really don’t want Green to spend too much time on offense.
After Green is out, the person in that position (except for Matisse Sebre) is almost certainly a better choice to add some creative juice. From Shake Milton to Furkan Korkmaz, the 76ers on the court are threatened, either shooting after dribbling, ready to shoot from the screen, or being able to go downhill and on a simple ball screen. Even though Yang managed not to get stuck on the screen, he didn’t even really try to shoot, allowing his man to look at the basket clearly:
By forcing Young to make contact on both ends of the court, the 76ers have greatly reduced his efficiency in the past two games. Playing two more games, they will enter the team’s first conference finals in 20 years.
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