By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
After taking the floor with just seven players against the Nuggets on Saturday, the Sixers find themselves back in action on Monday night. The shorthanded squad has traveled to Atlanta to face off against Trae Young and the Hawks.
The Sixers will still have a limited roster due to health and safety protocols, but they will have some reinforcements on Monday night. Joel Embiid and Mike Scott have been upgraded to probable, giving the Sixers nine potentially players to see the floor.
They will be facing a Hawks team that is going through a rough stretch. Heading into Monday's game, the Hawks are riding a four-game losing streak and have lost five of their last six games. Injuries have plagued them as well, being without the services of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Tony Snell, Rajon Rondo, and Danilo Gallinari.
Joel Embiid has had great success against the Hawks in the past, which gives the depleted team a fighting chance in this matchup. The last time Embiid took the floor against the Hawks, he erupted for a career-high 49 points, came down with 14 rebounds, and converted 14 of his 15 attempts from the free-throw line.
Tyrese Maxey will be the other name to watch for the Sixers in this one. The rookie will be looking to follow up on the career day he had against the Nuggets on Saturday. Maxey ended the day with 39 points and did everything he could to lead the charge for the short-staffed Sixers.
The key name to watch on the other end is All-Star guard Trae Young. As we know, he could go off for a huge performance on any night. Containing him on offense will have to be the primary focus for the Sixers' defense.
Young has been in a dry spell shooting the ball from deep, something the defense will need to focus on when guarding him. Heading into this game, Young is shooting just 28% from beyond on the season.
It isn't going to be an easy task, but this could be a matchup where the Sixers could steal a win. Having two more players will help distribute minutes on the floor easier, not to mention they will have Embiid to lead the charge tonight.
The Sixers showed a lot of fight on Saturday, refusing to just roll over despite the circumstances in the game. If they can bring that same energy again with Embiid and Maxey leading the charge on offense, this game could potentially either way.