After losing last night to the Timberwolves, the Atlanta Hawks will be playing in their final game of the regular season aspect of the NBA Summer League. With a 2-1 record, the Hawks could bolster their chances to make the playoffs with a win tonight over the Philadelphia 76ers. We’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing.
The 76ers will come into tonight after two practice days following their loss to the Mavericks on Monday. The Sixers fell 111-103 in that game which brought their record to 1-1 in the event. If there is one thing for sure, though, after that loss, it’s that this team can score. Through their two games, the 76ers are averaging 106.5 PPG, which leads all teams in the event.
After leading the team in scoring in their opening game win, Jaden Springer missed the team’s game with the Mavs due to a knee injury. While their defense remains nonexistent through their first two games, Philadelphia certainly has the scoring depth for Springer’s absence. DJ Steward has been coming off the bench for the Sixers, but he is a big reason why the team is shooting 49% from the field, as he is averaging 19 PPG.
While Philadelphia has had two days since they last played, the Atlanta Hawks will be on the court for the second straight night. In their 99-93 win over the Timberwolves, the Hawks got a big offensive night from second-year guard Tyrese Martin, who had 25 points. Martin has paced the Hawks in scoring through the first three games with an average of 17 PPG.
Atlanta may be getting a big scoring boost from Martin, but they are still waiting for this year’s first-round pick, Kobe Bufkin, to find his shooting stroke. The rookie out of Michigan is averaging 12.7 points and 29.2 minutes per game, as his shooting percentage entering tonight is sitting at 28%.
Following their two days without a game, the Sixers will come into tonight favored by (-1.5) on FanDuel, and I’ll be backing them for my play. Not only does Philadelphia have the rest advantage, but they have been shooting the ball at an exceptionally high level, and for a team with one first-rounder on the roster, they possess a strong amount of scoring depth.
In their three games this event, the Hawks have yet to run into an offense with this much scoring potential. DJ Steward has been great off the bench, but undrafted free agents, Terquavion Smith and Ricky Council IV, have been excellent for Philadelphia. Smith is averaging 15.5 PPG while shooting 37% from three, and Council IV has put up 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Philadelphia’s most significant weakness in this event has been defense, but now they get to play a Hawks team that is averaging the sixth most turnovers per game this event and may have some heavy legs after playing just last night. If the 76ers can limit Tyrese Martin, they should be in a good spot since the Hawks’ offense as a whole is in the bottom ten of the league in shooting percentage.
Philadelphia 76ers (-1.5) on FanDuel (Play to -2)