Atlanta Hawks vs. Philadelphia 76ers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 10th 2024

The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t sure if reigning league MVP Joel Embiid will be available on Wednesday when they go on the road to play the Atlanta Hawks.

Embiid missed Saturday’s loss against the Utah Jazz because of swelling in his left knee following an incident during Friday’s loss to the New York Knicks. He did not participate in practice on Monday or Tuesday. When asked if Embiid would be available to play against the Hawks, Sixers coach Nick Nurse said, “We’re hoping so.”

Embiid has missed eight games this season. In 27 games, Embiid is averaging a league-leading 34.6 points, along with 11.8 rebounds and six assists. Embiid is averaging 26.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 18 career games against Atlanta. He had 38 points and 14 rebounds against the Hawks on Dec. 8.

Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris (ankle), De’Anthony Melton (back soreness) and Furkan Korkmaz (illness) all returned to practice on Monday, although Robert Covington (illness) was absent. None played against the Jazz in the 120-109 loss.

“Even though we were missing five guys, those guys can collectively play together better than that,” Nurse said. “They can execute better, they can defend better than that. They can make those open shots. There was plenty of shots to step into and make.”

Philadelphia has lost three of its last four games.

Atlanta has dropped two straight and lost six of its last eight games. The Hawks will begin a five-game homestand, but they are only 5-9 at home — matching the Knicks for the fewest home games in the league.

Trae Young (27.8 points, 11 assists) is coming off his 16th 30-point game of the season, a 31-point, nine-assist effort in the 117-110 overtime loss at Orlando on Sunday.

In the loss, reserves Onyeka Okongwu tied his career high with five blocks and Bogdan Bogdanovic matched his career high with four steals. They became the first Atlanta teammates to come off the bench and post those numbers since Elton Brand and Lou Williams in 2013. and the first duo in the NBA to do so since Miami’s Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow in 2016.

Bogdanovic (998) and Young (996) are nearing the threshold of 1,000 3-point baskets. They could become the first pair of teammates in NBA history to record their 1,000th career 3-pointer in the same game.

But the Hawks must do a better job on the boards and at the line. They were beaten 25-6 on second-chance points, outrebounded 57-50, and missed 12 free throws.

“Players are going to make shots, but when they miss, we’ve got to clean up the glass,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “We had a rough start, but we really competed and put ourselves in position to win the game. But you can’t give them multiple opportunities.”

Hawks guard Garrison Mathews exited Sunday’s game against Orlando and will sit out with a sprained left ankle. The club said he will be re-evaluated in one to two weeks.

This will be the third of four meetings between the two teams, and the Sixers have won five in a row against the Hawks. Philadelphia won the first two contests — 126-116 in Atlanta and 125-114 in Philly.

They complete the series on Feb. 9 in Philadelphia.

–Field Level Media

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