The Atlanta Hawks dominated the Philadelphia 76ers in the first half of Game 1 on Sunday. After outscoring the Sixers 74-54 through the first two quarters of action, it seemed Atlanta was well on their way to picking up their first win over the Sixers, upsetting the home team to start the series.
But Philly fought back hard in the second half. After outscoring the Hawks by 16 points in the final two quarters, the Sixers nearly made a comeback. However, Atlanta stayed alive in the end and managed to get a 1-0 lead in the second-round series.
Winning in Philadelphia hasn't been easy for visiting teams over the last couple of seasons, but the Hawks managed to pull one out on Sunday afternoon. While a big win in South Philly to open the series could do wonders for a young Hawks team's confidence, Atlanta's Bogdan Bogdanović made it clear they aren't getting too ahead of themselves.
“It gives us a lot of confidence, but we know they’re still the number one team in the East," the standout guard said following Sunday's game. "They are tough. They are gonna have the answers for the upcoming games. They are capable of winning on the road as well. We have to stick to our game plan. We are expecting an even tougher game next game and upcoming games as well.”
Considering the Sixers' second-half adjustments on Sunday led to a near comeback, Atlanta likely understands they won't be gifted a blowout first-half similar to Game 1 when Game 2 rolls around on Tuesday. That's not to say Atlanta can't have a repeat performance, as they certainly have the tools to win, but they aren't ignorant to the fact that the Sixers are the top team in the Eastern Conference for a reason.
With a film session scheduled for the Sixers on Monday, Doc Rivers and his team will assess their strengths and weaknesses from Game 1 and figure out how to fix their mistakes ahead of Game 2. Then, Bogdanović and the Hawks will reconvene with the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night for a rematch.