Nov 7, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) gestures prior to the Bucks’ game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The struggling Milwaukee Bucks are in Philly to take on the 76ers Tuesday night
Joel Embiid (COVID protocols) will not be in the lineup for the 76ers
The odds and matchups can be found below with a prediction
The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers may very well be foes in the Eastern Conference Final.
If they do, chances are their lineups will look far different than the ones they will be fielding Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Bucks’ title defense hasn’t been pretty, as they’ve slid to 10th in the East amid a rash of injuries and COVID protocols to their key players.
But they’ll be a 6-point road favorite in this one, because the Sixers will be without Joel Embiid, among other vital parts, as he’s been placed into COVID protocols himself.
Tip-off for this one goes at 7:30pm ET, and is part of a TNT doubleheader.
Bucks vs 76ers Odds
Odds as of Nov 8 at FanDuel
Perhaps the only slice of good news in Milwaukee these days was the Bucks visiting the White House Tuesday, in celebration of last year’s historic title win.
Of course, Milwaukee was in the nation’s capital playing the Wizard Monday, who handed them a 101-94 L, their second straight loss, and their fifth out of six.
Giannis says he’s running for office in 2024 😂
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 9, 2021
The Bucks were shorthanded, with starters Khris Middleton (COVID) and Brook Lopez (back) out of the lineup. Guard Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) has yet to debut this year after injuring his ankle during last year’s playoff run.
They will not be available again against Philly.
The good news is Giannis Antetokounmpo is still his dominant self, though his efforts haven’t been enough to keep Milwaukee above .500.
Working on both sides of the ball.
29 PTS | 18 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL pic.twitter.com/M98Sn7anBY
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) November 8, 2021
He was a stat-filler against the Wizards, pouring in 29 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block in a team-high 39 minutes of work, but it wasn’t enough.
Only three other players cracked double digits, as the Bucks shot a woeful 39.4% from the field, including 10-for-36 from downtown, a lowly 27.8% clip.
The good news is Jrue Holiday played his second game since returning from an ankle injury, and had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes of work.
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Minus the seemingly endless cloud of Ben Simmons dreariness and absenteeism hanging around the franchise, things hadn’t been that bad for Philadelphia, as they raced out to an 8-2 start in their opening 10 games.
If Monday night’s 103-96 loss to the New York Knicks is any indication, it won’t be as pleasant without Embiid, who missed his first game since going into a minimum 10-day quarantine.
Julius Randle from downtown… BANG! pic.twitter.com/qR7kv7aS7O
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 9, 2021
The Sixers shot just 38.5% from the field, including 13-for-40 from three (32.5%). Andre Drummond did a nice job filling in at center, scoring 14 points and grabbing 25 rebounds, but he’s nowhere near the offensive hub Embiid is.
It doesn’t help that Doc Rivers is fielding a MASH unit of notable absentees, including starting wing Tobias Harris and key reserve Matisse Thybulle, who are both out with COVID.
Seth Curry with a MASSIVE three, courtesy of some hard work from Andre Drummond 💪 pic.twitter.com/B6MzAojhIu
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 9, 2021
Philly ranks last in the NBA in rebounding, and were -8 against the Knicks, including surrendering 14 offensive boards. That gave New York a distinct 22-13 advantage in second chance points.
Maybe it has something to do with the Knicks: Philly has lost twice to New York, and they’re the only team to hold them under 100 points in 11 games this season.
Bucks vs 76ers Trends
How much work is Antetokounmpo doing to help the Bucks? Consider that he has led the team in scoring, rebounding and assists in six games, and has not led the team in scoring just once, rebounding twice, and assists twice.
It’s a long season, Bucks fans. Milwaukee won’t be without Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez forever, and maybe they’ll even get to play *with* Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Once they do, they’ll get back on track. pic.twitter.com/wsrYiPtHr9
— Mitchell Maurer (@Mitchell_NBA) November 6, 2021
Milwaukee’s success threshold is that 100-point mark. In all but one of their six losses on the year, they’ve been held at 98 points or less. When cracking the century mark, they’re a more reasonable 4-1.
Philadelphia holds a 7-4 mark ATS on the year, but they’re just 2-3 ATS as an underdog. Milwaukee sits at 4-6 ATS and 4-4 ATS as a favorite.
What’s the Best Bet?
The 76ers may be the sixth-ranked team in scoring at 111.1 points per game, and lead the league in both field goal shooting (49.6%) and 3-point shooting (39.4%), but that’s built under the strength of their MVP candidate Embiid. Throw in the back-to-back factor, and who knows where Philly generates enough offense to stay competitive in this one.
Giannis will be head and shoulders the best player on the Wells Fargo floor Tuesday night, and in a matchup with so many missing parts, count on the reigning Finals MVP to carry his team to a convincing win.
The Pick: Bucks -6 (-110)