2021 Playoffs: East Semifinal | 76ers (1) vs. Hawks (5)

5 stats to know before pivotal Hawks-Sixers Game 5

The series is tied 2-2 before a must-see Game 5 in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann

Trae Young and Atlanta face a major matchup against Ben Simmons and Philadelphia tonight.

The Eastern Conference semifinals series between the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks is tied at two games apiece. Here are five numbers to know in anticipation of Game 5 on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT).


1. The Sixers and Hawks combined to score just 103 points per 100 possessions in Game 4.

These teams scored almost 118 points per 100 possessions through the first three games, and through Sunday, Philadelphia ranked second in playoff efficiency. But Game 4 was the Sixers’ least efficient offensive game of the postseason (100 points on 98 possessions).

The Hawks adjusted their pick-and-roll coverage and the Sixers scored just 34 points in the paint after averaging 58.7 through the first three games. Joel Embiid, of course, shot 0-for-12 as the Sixers scored just 38 points on 47 second-half possessions.

Despite all that, Philly still had a chance to tie in the final seconds. Atlanta turned the ball over just four times (fewest in franchise playoff history), but shot just 42% in the paint, 5-for-13 from mid-range, and 12-for-40 (30%) from 3-point range. The Hawks missed some chippies, but the Philadelphia defense was also ridiculously good at times …

Sixers defense

We’ll see if Game 4 was an anomaly or the start of a trend of uglier games.

2. The Sixers have been 25.2 points per 100 possessions better with Embiid on the floor than they have with him off the floor.

Embiid obviously had a rough second half on Monday when he obviously wasn’t at 100%. Only two of his 20 shots in Game 4 came in the restricted area, and he’s now just 22-for-63 (35%) from outside the restricted area in the series.

The Sixers have still been much better with him on the floor. The bigger difference has been on offense, where Philly has scored just 103.1 points per 100 possessions in his 49 minutes on the bench.

Adjustments to the second unit have helped. In 30 minutes with Shake Milton and Tobias Harris on the floor without Embiid, the Sixers have scored 77 points on 58 possessions (133 per 100).

Related to Embiid’s on-off differential: The Hawks have outscored the Sixers by 13.0 points per 100 possessions in 36 minutes with John Collins at center (no Clint Capela or Onyeka Okongwu on the floor).

3. Trae Young has created 29.0 points per game via assists.

That would be the fifth highest average in a playoff series in the eight years of playoff tracking, with the third highest mark being Russell Westbrook’s 29.8 in the first round against the Sixers. In the first three games, Young assisted on 25, 26 and 20 points. Then in Game 4, even though the Hawks barely scored a point per possession, he assisted on 45 of his team’s points, with his 18 assists going to six different teammates.

Trae Young tallied a playoff career-high 18 assists in Atlanta's Game 4 win.

Young’s 29 assists to Collins are the most from one player to a single teammate in the playoffs, while his 22 assists to Capela are tied for third most. His scoring has gone down after he dropped 35 points in Game 1 and the Sixers changed defensive assignments, but his playmaking has kept the Atlanta offense afloat.

4. The Hawks have scored just 0.91 points per possession in transition.

The Sixers ranked second defensively in the regular season, but they were mediocre in regard to transition defense, and the Hawks have averaged about the same number on transition possessions in this series (13.8) as they did in the first round (13.6), according to Synergy tracking. But their efficiency is way down from the 1.26 points per transition they scored against New York. In Game 4 on Monday, the Hawks shot 2-for-14 (1-for-8 from 3-point range) in the first six seconds of the shot clock, according to Second Spectrum tracking.

Through four games, fast break points are 56-34 in favor of the Sixers.

5. The Sixers have grabbed just 73.6% of available defensive rebounds.

While fast break points have been heavily in favor of Philly, second chance points are 60-46 in favor of the Hawks, and that 73.6% ranks last in the conference semis. Atlanta registered just 19 second chance points through the first two games, but had 20 in Game 3 and 21 in Game 4. That included eight in the decisive fourth quarter on Monday, with the three biggest coming on John Collins’ corner 3-pointer after an incredible effort to rebound a Bogdan Bogdanovic miss.

Philly has grabbed 77.4% of available defensive rebounds with Embiid on the floor, but just 62.7% with him off the floor. Another three of the Hawks’ eight second chance points in the fourth quarter of Game 4 came when Dwight Howard committed a loose ball foul early in the period.

Trae Young led Atlanta's thrilling comeback to defeat Philly in Game 4 and even the series at 2-2.

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John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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