Posted by: C. Smith
02/08/11 5:49 pm EST
This late Tuesday edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” — Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews upcoming 76ers opponents — features tonight’s opponent the Atlanta Hawks who are winners of three straight games.
The Sixers have had two tough Ls against the Hawks this year, — the Hawks won 104-101 at Philadelphia on Oct. 29th ; and of course who can forget the 93-88 debacle in Atlanta back on December 3rd (The 76ers led from the first basket of the game until the final 31 seconds) – and unfortunately we expect the losing trend vs. Atlanta to continue tonight.
Despite going 2-1 in their last three games away form the WFC, we all know that the 76ers have struggled on the road this season (7-19 overall). On the flipside, the Hawks are 17-7 at home this season (15-2 in their last 17). So those numbers don’t bode well for a potential win by the 7-6.
Additionally, on paper the Hawks are a more talented, more athletic and deeper squad. Their young and skilled frontline especially presents some significant problems for the 76ers. Al Horford is not a 100% lock to play tonight, but if he does, you should be aware that Horford is averaging a double-double vs. the Sixers this season (17.5 & 12.5). Marvin Williams and super-athletic Josh Smith will also give the Sixers trouble in the paint.
Throw in the fact that Sixer killer Joe Johnson (27.5 points in his last four home vs. the 76ers) will play tonight (He missed the Dec. 3rd game due to an elbow injury) and the forecast for stopping the Hawks on the perimeter in this contest doesn’t look that sunny for the Sixers either.
However, for some reason the 7-6 continually play the Hawks well, so that leads us to believe that Sixers will keep this one close as they have done twice already this season. Unfortunately just don’t think the Sixers have enough to win this one in Atlanta tonight. That’s especially true if Jrue Holiday continues his recent struggles and Louis Williams tries to dominate in front of his hometown folks.
As always, we hope we’re wrong.
For a little more insight into the Hawks team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Bret LaGree from hoopinionblog.com to answer two questions on Atlanta from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Hawks squad from an insider’s perspective.