Posted: March 31, 2014
Coming off a 123-98 win over the Detroit Pistons that snapped a 26-game losing streak, the Sixers (16-57) travel to Atlanta to take on a Hawks team looking to end a skid of their own. The Hawks (31-41), losers of their last six games, were a comfortable 4.5 games ahead of the New York Knicks for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff seed at the beginning of their recent slide, but now hold just a one-game advantage with 10 games left in their season.
Matchup to Watch
Center: Pero Antic vs. Henry Sims
Macedonian rookie Pero Antic (6’11, 260) has been a pleasant surprise for the Hawks this season. Signed to a free-agent contract last summer, the 31-year-old has averaged 7.1 points (53.3 eFG%) and 4.2 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game this season. Over Atlanta’s last 21 games, Antic has started 19, averaging 10.5 points (56.5 eFG%) and 5.9 rebounds while converting almost two threes per contest.
Sixers center Henry Sims (6’10, 245) has also turned heads through 17 games since being acquired by Philadelphia at the trade deadline. Since then, he’s averaging 10.5 points (46.5 eFG%), 6.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 26 minutes per game. Over his last four games, he’s seen those averages improve to 15.6 points (56.8 eFG%), 9.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 29 minutes per game.
Taking Care of the Ball
In Saturday’s win over the Pistons, reserve guard Tony Wroten returned from an ankle injury that had sidelined him for the team’s previous three games, dishing out nine assists and turning the ball over just once in 21 minutes of action. The 20-year-old has led the Sixers in turnover rate (4.0 per 36 minutes) this season, but has seen that number drop to 1.9 per 36 minutes over his last four games. Over that stretch, he’s averaging 13.0 points, 6.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 turnovers per contest.
Over the Hawks’ current six-game losing streak, they’ve averaged just 91.8 points per game (the fourth fewest in the league), converting 41.8% from the field (29th) and 27.0% from beyond the arc (30th).
For Philadelphia, big man Byron Mullens is a game-time decision with a left ankle sprain. For Atlanta, Kyle Korver (back spasms) is a game-time decision and DeMarre Carroll (stomach virus) is expected to play.
|Category||Sixers (16-57)||Hawks (31-41)|
|PPG||Thaddeus Young – 18.0||Paul Millsap – 17.7|
|RPG||Henry Sims – 6.9||Paul Millsap – 8.1|
|APG||Michael Carter-Williams – 6.2||Jeff Teague – 6.8|
|SPG||Thaddeus Young – 2.2||Paul Millsap – 1.8|
|BPG||Jarvis Varnado – 1.2||Elton Brand – 1.2|