Apparently, Atlanta didn’t already have an uphill battle.
Not only are the Atlanta Hawks facing the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but now they will officially have to do it without one of their best perimeter defenders in De'Andre Hunter.
It was announced today that Hunter will fly to Los Angeles to have surgery on his right meniscus after finding a small new tear. Hunter missed Games 1 and 2 because of this injury. During the regular season, Hunter only played 23 games, largely due to the issues he was having with his knee.
This is a big loss for the Hawks, who were already underdogs, losing a big piece in their rotation. The Hawks have +175 odds to complete the upset of the Sixers, but that number seems a lot larger without Hunter.
During the series against the Knicks, Hunter averaged 10.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 38% from 3.
WynnBET still has the Hawks as +100 underdogs to the visiting Sixers (-120) for Game 3.
Joel Embiid, who missed a game during the first round, is also dealing with a torn meniscus.
Atlanta was able to steal Game 1 to steal home court advantage, but wasn’t able to complete the road sweep in Game 2. Philadelphia pulled away in the second half, powered by a dominant performance of Joel Embiid.
Although losing Hunter for the remainder of the playoffs isn’t a good thing, the Hawks have already played two games in this series without him and have had a little time to adjust.