The Atlanta Hawks have every right to be feeling themselves after their Game 4 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Being the fifth-seeded team that upset the fourth-seeded team 4-1 in the first-round, the Hawks could've been a young squad that came into the second round just happy to be there.
Facing the first-seeded Sixers was never going to be an easy task, and it hasn't been so far. But the Hawks managed to even the series 2-2 after their big game on Monday. The team that wanted it more got it on Monday as the Sixers and the Hawks ground it out for Game 4.
After the victory, members of the Hawks felt good, rightfully so, but Atlanta's big man Clint Capela might've taken it a step too far as he hinted at the idea that he might've figured out and worn down Sixers big man Joel Embiid.
“We were making his job tougher contesting everything," Capela said after the game in regards to Embiid. "Making him work. Whenever you wear him out, everything becomes tougher for him. That’s how I knew it was a long series and when the fatigue comes in. . . It’s a different ballgame.”
Capela's quote came not too long after Embiid turned in arguably one of the worst second-half performances in his career. Known to be a guy the Sixers can lean on in crunch time, Embiid couldn't buy a bucket from the field.
In a little under 18 minutes of action in the final two quarters, Philly's big man shot 0-12 from the field and collected just three points, which came from his four free throws. While the Hawks did a good job against Embiid, the Sixers' All-Star blamed his struggles on the fact he didn't have any "lift" due to his torn meniscus.
Ever since Game 1 of the second-round series, Embiid's been dealing with an injured knee. However, he's dominated Atlanta in three of the four games they've played in this series. Capela and the Hawks did a good job containing Embiid in Game 4, but Embiid was far from himself that night.
There's no guarantee his body feels better by Game 5. Still, even if he feels slightly better, South Philly could see a much more motivated and dominant Embiid on Wednesday as Clint Capela, and the league gave the Sixers center bulletin board material ahead of the next matchup.