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Milwaukee Bucks vs Philadelphia 76ers: Can the Sixers Sort Out Their Interior Defence?

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated October 20, 2022
12 min read
  • The Milwaukee Bucks look to get back into championship contention after a disappointing 2022 Playoffs.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers want to rebound after a disappointing performance in their opening game.
  • The Bucks won the 2021-22 regular season series against the Sixers, 2-1.

Bucks vs Sixers Odds

Odds taken from BetMGM. Sign up and get a $1000 risk-free bet.

TeamSpreadMoney LineTotal
Bucks+3.5 (-110)
O 225.5 (-105)
Sixers-3.5 (-110)
U 225.5 (-115)

Milwaukee Bucks vs Philadelphia 76ers Predictions and Picks

The Sixers' defensive standards seem to have dropped, but the Bucks are missing some of their scoring potentials due to injury. Neither team sports incredible bench production, so it'll all be on the stars. Expect the Sixers' scoring to overwhelm the Bucks.


Philadelphia 76ers def. Milwaukee Bucks (-175)

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Bucks vs Sixers Predictions

Head-to-Head: Milwaukee Bucks vs Philadelphia 76ers

Milwaukee BucksHead-to-HeadPhiladelphia 76ers
Mike BudenholzerHead CoachDoc Rivers
0-0 (T-15 in East)Standing0-1 (2nd in East)
n/aFormLost 1
n/a (30 of 30)Off Rtg118.6 (2nd of 4)
n/a (30 of 30)Def Rtg127.7 (4th of 4)
n/a (30 of 30)Pace98.7 (4th of 4)

Leaders (Per Game)*

G. Antetokounmpo (29.9)PPGJ. Harden (35.0)
G. Antetokounmpo (11.6)RPGJ. Embiid (15.0)
J. Holiday (6.8)APGJ. Harden (7.0)
J. Holiday (1.6)SPGT. Harris (3.0)
G. Antetokounmpo (1.4)BPGT. Harris (3.0)
G. Antetokounmpo (.553)/G. Antetokounmpo (10.3)FG%/FGMJ. Harden (.643)/J. Embiid, J. Harden (9.0)
J. Holiday (.411)/K. Middleton (2.5)3P%/3PMJ. Harden (.556)/J. Harden (5.0)

* 2021-22 Leaders for Milwaukee Bucks

Injury Report

Pat ConnaughtonMilwaukee Bucks16 Oct 2022Out (Calf)Connaughton is expected to miss about three weeks.
Khris MiddletonMilwaukee Bucks17 Oct 2022Out (Wrist)Middleton is expected to miss the first few weeks of the season.

MIL: Can the Bucks Capitalize on Opportunities?

The Milwaukee Bucks play through their star man Giannis Antetokounmpo. At times when he's not able to create for others, they've leaned on playmaker Jrue Holiday or the scoring ability of Khris Middleton. With injuries to key contributors, the Bucks will need to capitalize on limited opportunities.

All-Star guard Khris Middleton and back-up wing player Pat Connaughton are set to miss opening night for the Milwaukee Bucks. Two plus-37% three-point shooters, the Bucks will sorely miss their ability to convert on opportunities created by their star men.

Milwaukee weren't the most prolific passing team in the league last year, averaging just 23.9 assists per game - good enough for 18th in the NBA. All eyes will be on Grayson Allen, Joe Ingles, and Bobby Portis to make up for their absences.

Bucks Key Player: (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo

The expectations of the Milwaukee Bucks lie on the shoulders of two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo. How well the Greek Freak performs will directly determine how well the Bucks fare this season. Given the fact that the Bucks didn't make massive changes this offseason, Antetokounmpo will need to put in another MVP-level season.

Despite having Joel Embiid patrolling the paint, Antetokounmpo should be encouraged by the Sixers' defensive showing last time out. A player who finds most of his points in the paint, Antetokounmpo needs to find early success at the rim in order to open up opportunities for his teammates.

Antetokounmpo is coming off of his best scoring season as a pro, averaging 29.9 points per game in 67 appearances. He did a great job to make up for his teammates' frequent absences due to injury, showcasing how his individual ability can change the game.

PHI: Can the Sixers Sort Out Their Interior Defence?

When you sport a starting lineup that includes Joel Embiid, you'd think that the defensive standards would be high. You couldn't say that was the case in Philadelphia's first game, where they put up next to no resistance at the rim.

In the Sixers last game, an opening night loss to the Boston Celtics, Philly allowed their opponents to shoot 56.1% from the field. In fact, Philadelphia allowed the Celtics to shoot 58.7% on two-point field goals as a whole, with just eight of those field goals coming from outside of the paint.

The Milwaukee Bucks are a good three-point shooting team, fifth in the NBA, but it's their interior offense that opens up opportunities for them. If Philly can clean up their interior defense, then they'll have a great shot at earning their first win of the season.

Sixers Key Player: (G) James Harden

The Sixers were encouraged by James Harden's start in their first game, despite the loss. After what was a difficult transition period after his acquisition last season, Harden seems to have benefitted from a full training camp with his team.

In his first game of the season against the Boston Celtics, James Harden was excellent. Harden posted 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. He was incredibly efficient, shooting 64.3% for the game on 9 of 14 from the field, 5 of 9 from three, and 12 of 12 from the free throw line.

He won't have a break when he takes on the Bucks, as their defensive standards are as high as the Celtics. Still, he won't face a defender at the level of Marcus Smart and his ability to get to the free-throw line can change the game.

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How to Watch Milwaukee Bucks vs Philadelphia 76ers

WhoMilwaukee Bucks vs Philadelphia 76ers
WhereWells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
When7:30 PM EST, Thursday, October 20, 2022
How to WatchTNT, NBA League Pass (Stream)
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Christian Jope

1484 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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