76ers vs. Hawks: The best player prop bets for Game 3
A series that might have been relegated to NBA TV in years past has sneakily become the must-watch matchup of the second round.
Those who thought that the Atlanta Hawks would roll over for the Philadelphia 76ers were given a rude awakening in Game 1. And while the Hawks lost Game 2, it took an outsized performance from Shake Milton to seal the deal for Philadelphia.
Make no mistake, this is a series, and the Hawks have to be feeling confident in their chances to win it.
Fri, June 11 2021, 11:40 PM
Having got the split, Atlanta now looks to defend home court, as the action returns to State Farm Arena Friday night. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
We have player prop odds and our three best bets below.
Joel Embiid Over/Under 45.5 points, rebounds, and assists
In both games in the series so far, one thing has been abundantly clear: Clint Capela and the Hawks, at large, have zero answers for Joel Embiid.
While Embiid’s status is presumably going to be uncertain going into every single game in this series, what is not in doubt is what will happen when he does play.
The Hawks worked diligently to flood the strong side of the court and show extra bodies to Embiid while simultaneously cutting off easy passing angles to the corner. That strategy was remarkably effective in limiting New York Knicks All-Star Julius Randle, but Embiid is a different beast entirely.
While Randle could do little when the pressure was upon him, Embiid has every post move in the book, the physical strength to simply batter his way to the hoop, as well as the light touch on his jump shot, when all else fails.
Capela, who has had a wonderful season deserving of All-Defensive Team consideration, is a turnstile against Embiid.
Embiid has notched just shy of 40 in the first two games of this series, while playing with a partially torn meniscus. If he competes Friday, he will dominate.
Trae Young Over/Under 9.5 assists
There is, perhaps, no single player in the NBA who has done more for their reputation through the playoffs so far than Trae Young.
Critics of his game thought he would wilt in the face of playoff physicality, that his reliance on foul drawing would hurt his production, and that he would be a liability on the defensive end.
Trae has answered every criticism with All-NBA-caliber performances throughout the playoffs and has permanently silenced any notions that he is merely a regular-season player.
Doc Rivers got cute when he elected to make Danny Green his primary defender in Game 1 and got burned badly for it.
But after a blistering 35-point, 10-assist evisceration in Game 1, Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle shared primary duty and held Young to a manageable 21 points on 6-of-16 from the field in Game 2. For the first time in the playoffs, Young looked rushed.
And yet, Trae is a brilliant basketball mind, more in the mold of a Steve Nash than a Steph Curry. Even as the Sixers did their level best to limit his attack, Young still added 11 assists in Game 2, despite having two of the NBA’s premier wing defenders trying to make his life hell.
The entire Sixers defense will be looking to stop Young from scoring, but even all that attention can’t stop his passing game.
Kevin Huerter Over/Under 11.5 points
After getting the late scratch just prior to the beginning of Game 1, the Hawks recently announced that DeAndre Hunter, the Hawks' sophomore starting small forward, would miss the rest of the season with a torn meniscus.
This injury saw Solomon Hill enter the starting lineup, but in both Games 1 and 2, he has been thoroughly outplayed by Kevin Huerter off the bench.
In Game 2, Huerter was particularly deadly, going 8-of-10 from the field for 20 points and scoring with ease from all over the court.
In addition to being a reliable outside shooter, Huerter is yet another player with on-ball skills for Atlanta.
The Hawks’ sheer amount of players that can create something with the ball in their hands was what sunk the Knicks, and it’s what threatens the Sixers now.
There’s a good chance that Huerter starts in Hill’s place in Game 3. Even if he doesn’t, there’s a great chance he’ll close and play starters' minutes.
Surrounded by Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic in most lineups, Huerter will be treated as the lesser evil when it comes to defensive coverages and should rack up easy points, as a result.