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The Philadelphia 76ers Look to Take Game 3 Against the Atlanta Hawks

Tom Handy

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Philadelphia 76ersScreenshot from Philadelphia 76ers Twitter

Philadelphia fans are happy but want more as the Philadelphia 76ers head into game 3 with the Atlanta Hawks. The Philadelphia 76ers are tied 1-1 with the Atlanta Hawks.

This will not be easy as Trae Young sets the tone for Atlanta. The 76ers are working to keep Young shut down by having multiple players guarding him.

In game one, Trae Young had 35 points on 11-for-23 shooting, 10 assists, and four turnovers. In the following game, the 76ers did much better and limited Young to 21 points on 6 for 16 shooting, 11 assists, and four turnovers.

76ers head coach Doc Rivers made some adjustments for game two as he had Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle guard Trae Young.

After the first game, Doc Rivers said, “It’s all body position,” Rivers said Monday. “Once the pick-and-roll coverage is called, you have to take your man to the pick. It’s just that simple. That’s not hard. We have to do that. If we’re going to give Trae the ability to go either way on pick-and-rolls, we’re in trouble. That’s discipline. We all know it; Danny knows it. It wasn’t just Danny. It happened to several guys, and so that can’t happen. That’s for sure.”

On some plays, 76ers forward Tobias Harris helped guard Trae young.

What Trae wants is to go downhill,” Rivers said, “and we felt like the switching would at least flatten him out. Even if he beat our guys, it would give us time to adjust and be in our help positions. In Game 1, he was just going downhill so quickly that we decided on the double drag — the first guy, not the second guy. And I thought that had some impact for us.”

The multiple players guarding Trae Young kept him thinking about the different defensive skills of each player. The players kept Trae Young thinking harder as he played his game.

So we just wanted to show different bodies on him. Obviously we started Ben on him, and then we had different guys rotating. He’s a dynamic player, uses his body well, so it’s tough to really get as physical as you want when you’re guarding him. But I thought we did a good job tonight of just standing our ground and having him shoot and make tough shots.”

Doc Rivers had more faith in Tobias helping guard Trae Young than he did in the past.

“L.A. days, nah, (Rivers) definitely would not have trusted me with that,” Harris said with a laugh. “It was just an adjustment we made. We showed different flashes last game. In Game 1 we were out there trying to trap, blitz, and that was leading to them making shots.”
“So we just wanted to show different bodies on him. Obviously we started Ben on him, and then we had different guys rotating. He’s a dynamic player, uses his body well, so it’s tough to really get as physical as you want when you’re guarding him. But I thought we did a good job tonight of just standing our ground and having him shoot and make tough shots.”

This helped slow down Trae Young. Young has to continue to figure out how to score or get around the 76ers defensive shuffles.

Joel Embiid scored a playoff career high of 40 points in game two and increasing his reason to be the league MVP.

The 76ers lost a close game one 124 to 128. They turned it around in game two and won 118 to 102 against Atlanta. With the series tied 1 to 1, the Hawks play their next two games on their home court in Atlanta. The next two games are Friday and Monday, June 11 and 14 before the 76ers come back to Philadelphia on June 16.

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to have faith to Trust the Process.

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