The Atlanta Hawks are riding the longest winning streak in the NBA at 13 games in a row (and are 21-2 in their past 23 there), but they will be without injured forwards De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series vs. the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday with the series tied 1-1. The Sixers are 1-point favorites on the William Hill Sportsbook NBA odds, with superstar Joel Embiid given an Over/Under of 32.5 points.
Hunter dealt with knee troubles all season and was limited to 23 regular-season games. However, he played the entire first round against the Knicks and averaged 10.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in about 30 minutes per night. Alas, that knee flared up afterward, he has missed this entire series and has now been ruled out for the rest of the playoffs because of a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. Hunter is easily the team's best wing defender.
Solomon Hill has started the first two games vs. Philly and has been pretty terrible as the Hawks are a combined minus-28 with him on the court. Coach Nate McMillan could make a change there.
As for Reddish (11.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg during season), he hasn't played in a game since late February – Lloyd Pierce was still Atlanta's coach then -- due to right Achilles soreness. He has been practicing but not in full 5-on-5 yet and thus will not play Friday. It's not out of the question Reddish returns in this series.
While the Hawks' Clint Capela is a fine center and a double-double machine, leading the league in rebounding during the season, he just physically can't match up with Embiid – who can? The NBA MVP runner-up had 39 points in Philly's Game 1 loss and 40 points in Game 2. He has scored at least 22 points in every game this postseason minus the one he left injured after one quarter.
The Under 32.5 points is a -120 favorite for Friday. That Embiid has a double-double is -180. He did with 13 rebounds in Game 2 but was a rebound shy in the opener. His Over/Under rebound total is 10.5, with the Over a -130 favorite.
Philadelphia has failed to cover the spread in its past six trips to Atlanta and was blown out its lone visit there this year on Jan. 11, 112-94. Embiid played, but a handful of Sixers, including Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, were out due to injury/COVID.
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