Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Sixers face Atlanta Hawks tonight

The Sixers will be without starting center Spencer Hawes tonight against the Hawks as the team tries to rebound from its first home loss.

Sixers face Atlanta Hawks tonight

Sixers rookie Nik Vucevic will see more playing time tonight with Spencer Hawes sidelined. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Sixers rookie Nik Vucevic will see more playing time tonight with Spencer Hawes sidelined. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The Sixers lost their first home game on Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets and tonight they'll look to rebound against the Atlanta Hawks, winners of four-straight.

Starting center Spencer Hawes will miss his second straight game due to a strained Achilles'. His spot in the lineup will be taken by rookie Nikola Vucevic.

"Atlanta's pretty good," said coach Doug Collins at this morning's shootaround. "They pose a lot of problems, they're a good defensive team, they have size. They've got a star in Joe Johnson who can throw up big numbers. Josh Smith is playing very well for them. Jeff Teague is doing a very good job at the point guard position. They've done a nice job of picking up some veteran guys - Tracy McGrady, Willie Green."

The absence of Hawes, who also missed Wednesday's game, could cause some serious problems inside for the Sixers against the big frontline of the Hawks (11-4), even without injured Al Horford.

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"I always get concerned about a game where we're playing against a lot of big, strong guys because without Spencer we just don't have that kind of size on our front line and it poses a lot of problems."

Wednesday the Sixers got a good start from Vucevic, but he was then limited due to foul trouble. After picking up his fourth early in the third quarter, he was relegated to the bench the remainder of the game after only 12 minutes of play. He'll have to be on the floor for a lot more tonight for the Sixers to have a good chance.

Another key matchup will be Andre Iguodala covering Johnson, who is averaging 24.8 points over the past four games. Smith has also been hot of late, averging 20.8 points and 11.8 rebounds during the winning streak.

Bob Cooney
About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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