Philadelphia 76ers vs Milwaukee Bucks: Predictions, Odds, and Roster Notes

WSN Picks: Milwaukee Bucks defeat Philadelphia 76ers

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How to Watch

What: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks

Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

When: Saturday, 22 February 2020, 8:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ABC | 97.5 The Fanatic, ESPNR, 620 AM/103.3 FM

Philadelphia 76ers (Away)

Head Coach: Brett Brown {All-Time 212-335 | PHI}

Season Record: 35-21

Projected Starting Five: (G) Ben Simmons – (G) Josh Richardson – (F) Furkan Korkmaz – (F) Tobias Harris – (C) Joel Embiid

Top Performers:

  • (C) Joel Embiid – 30.5 MPG | 22.9 PPG | 11.9 RPG | 1.4 BPG
  • (F) Tobias Harris – 34.3 MPG | 19.0 PPG | 6.7 RPG | .363 3P%
  • (G) Ben Simmons – 36.3 MPG | 16.9 PPG | 8.3 APG | 7.9 RPG

The Philadelphia 76ers are working their way back up the Eastern Conference rankings. Just 1.5 games back from the fourth-place Miami Heat, the Sixers’ second half is dedicated to winning home-court advantage in the playoffs.

The Sixers find themselves in their current position due to an incredible defensive acumen and talent that overcomes most of the mistakes caused by their imbalance. Brett Brown has made some key changes to their lineup, namely moving Al Horford to the bench, to varying results.

When Philadelphia takes on Milwaukee they’ll have more than a handful on their plate. The Bucks are one of the best teams in the league. The Sixers will have to show that they have the inside presence to defend Milwaukee’s interior attack.

Milwaukee Bucks (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer {All-Time 319-227 | ATL, MIL}

Season Record: 47-8

Projected Starting Five: (G) Eric Bledsoe – (G) Wes Matthews – (F) Khris Middleton – (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – (C) Brook Lopez

Top Performers:

  • (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – 30.9 MPG | 30.0 PPG | 13.5 RPG | 5.8 APG
  • (F) Khris Middleton – 29.6 MPG | 20.4 PPG | 6.1 RPG | 4.3 APG
  • (G) Eric Bledsoe – 27.1 MPG | 15.7 PPG | 5.3 APG | 4.8 RPG

The Milwaukee Bucks remain as the top team in the Eastern Conference and the top team in the NBA. While the Toronto Raptors close in on them in the East, they’ve built a healthy enough lead to whether any serious run of form.

The Bucks are not fooling anyone in what they do. They play through Giannis, secure the glass, and push it down their opponent’s throats. Despite being exposed in last year’s playoffs, they’ve doubled down on their play on the assumption that there’s only one team that can combat them – it is not assumed to be the Sixers.

Philadelphia defeated the Bucks in their first meeting on Christmas Day due to an uncharacteristic turnover rate and inability to battle on the glass. Milwaukee was able to adjust in their second outing for the victory, but this third match will be eye-opening as each teams’ playoff rosters are complete.

What’s At Stake?

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers are two of the NBA’s most storied franchises. In 212 regular-season meetings, the Bucks lead the 76ers 110 to 102.

A win for the Philadelphia 76ers would bring them within a game of the Miami Heat who lead them in fourth place.

A win for the Milwaukee Bucks would reinforce their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Questions to answer

Can the Sixers put on another defensive showcase?

Will the Bucks be able to defend the paint?

We are going to compare the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

PHI: Keep It Tight!

The Philadelphia 76ers have split their games with the Milwaukee Bucks this season. In their Christmas Day victory over the Eastern Conference leaders, they were bolstered by their economical play.

The Sixers will have to conjure some of the same magic that won them their last meeting with the Bucks. They committed only seven turnovers to the Bucks’ 10, while also forcing three turnovers out of Antetokounmpo who finished the match with a 46.3% usage rate.

Ben Simmons has proven him a stout match for Antetokounmpo, but he’ll have to orchestrate the offense to perfection on top of his defensive responsibilities. Shooting 47.7% from deep in their last win, the Sixers will have to strike a perfect balance to steal a victory.

MIL: Get Back to Your Strengths

The Milwaukee Bucks are coming off of a loss to the Indiana Pacers. In that loss, they showed why they are significantly weaker without Giannis Antetokounmpo. While they were able to score, as usual, their ability to protect the pain was exposed.

While Brook and Robin Lopez are excellent interior defenders, they are not fleet-footed enough to keep up with pacey, movement-oriented squads. They allowed the Pacers to shoot 52.3% from the field, well above their 41.1% field-goal percentage allowed with Giannis in 48 games.

The Greek Freak isn’t the only answer, as a team effort is needed. But against a team that can punish you in the paint via Embiid and Simmons, as well as from the perimeter in Korkmaz, Harris, Robinson, and Burks, the Bucks must set the tone defensively early.

Philadelphia 76ers Roster Notes

The Philadelphia 76ers have no current injuries to report.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

(F) Kyle Korver – 19 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Back) – Korver is listed as OUT for Thursday’s (Feb 20) game against the Pistons.

Head-to-Head: (G) Alec Burks vs (G) Donte DiVincenzo

Two bench players are the key focus for the Bucks and the Sixers in this match. While not the stars, they are key pieces moving forward as each team looks to solidify their playoff positioning. Utility men, Burks and DiVincenzo can certainly change the game.

(G) Alec Burks (6-6, 214lb (198cm, 97kg) | Colorado | 8 Years)

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2028GSW-PHI4928.715.84.63.1.405.372

Alec Burks is coming off of an understated debut with the Philadelphia 76ers, after having been dealt with them from the Golden State Warriors. Burks is an excellent scorer and was coming off of a bounce-back season with the Warriors until he was traded. He scores best in isolation, but to truly impact the Sixers he’ll have to show that his spot-up capabilities are just as refined.

(G) Donte DiVincenzo (6-4, 203lb (193cm, 92kg) | Villanova | 1 Years)

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2023MIL4922.99.24.72.2.456.344

 

Donte DiVincenzo has proven himself to be an invaluable piece for the Bucks off the bench. He is a scrapper on the defensive side and has proven more than capable of knocking down the occasional three-point shot. He is tasked with maintaining the team’s defensive standard when the starters rest, making him a crucial matchup with scoring ace Alec Burks.

Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Predictions

Why the Philadelphia 76ers Will Win

If the Sixers can take care of the ball and enforce their inside game, it will only open up opportunities for their shooters. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are the lynchpins of their defense, their performance is crucial to their success.

Why the Milwaukee Bucks Will Win

The Bucks won’t do anything different, but in order to defeat the Sixers, they’ll have to move the ball with intelligence and not give up easy opportunities. The Sixers have broken them in the paint before. They’ll have to reinstitute their toughness.

WSN’s Pick

WSN Picks: Milwaukee Bucks defeat Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Milwaukee Bucks Odds

The latest odds for 76ers vs Bucks are provided by William Hill NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and 888Sport NJ.

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Sportsbook76ersBucks
William Hill NJ+320-400
DraftKings+330-420
888Sport NJ+330-420

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