At 23-27, the Sixers have six more games before the All-Star break including four on the road. It is an instrumental time for them, as they do not want to go on the break on a bad note.
It all starts tonight in Atlanta (33-18), before they host the Orlando Magic tomorrow. San Antonio comes to the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, before the Sixers head to Minneapolis, Memphis and Houston before scattering for the break.
Here are some keys to tonight's game against the Hawks:
*Hold their own on the boards. Atlanta can kill on the boards with Al Horford and Josh Smith. Both were out of practice on Monday, as Horford is recovering from a bruised back he suffered Friday, forcing him to miss Saturday's game. He should play tonight. Smith will play tonight though he is sporting a sore knee.
*Find someone to stop Joe Johnson. The guard has been very hot of late and has always played well against the Sixers, averaging 27.5 points in the last four games against the Sixers at Philips Arena.
*Get out on the break. The way to negate Atlanta's size advantage is to get out on the break - off of steals, stops and even after made baskets. Getting into a halfcourt game with the Hawks does not bode well for them.
*Get production from the starting backcourt. When the Sixers get scoring from Jrue Holiday and Jodie Meeks, they usually are very productive offensively, because it opens up so many areas for other players.
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