Nice points made by Paul Flannery of WEEI:
Kenny Smith tried to make the argument that the Sixers reminded him of the Hawks because they’re young (but they’re not as young as Atlanta), they’re athletic (true, but they’re not that athletic) and they run (whoops).
You will hear about a thousand times between now and Saturday if the Celtics wind up playing the Sixers that Philly likes to run, but here’s the deal: In terms of pace — that is the number of possessions per game — the Sixers rank 22nd in the NBA. In other words, they play slower than Memphis, slower than Houston and (yes) slower than the Celtics.
Bringing the halftime conversation full circle, everyone agreed that the Sixers aren’t as good as the Hawks last season. A little perspective, please. Atlanta won 37 games last year and got blown out four times in Boston during the playoffs. They played great three times at home and have made a nice jump last year, but let’s not pretend that anyone thought the Hawks were “good” last season, and the comparison between last year’s Hawks and this year’s Sixers doesn’t hold up.