By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers faced the Milwaukee Bucks in their home opener to the 2022-23 NBA regular season. This match-up featured Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo two MVP frontrunners. Once again Giannis’ squad got the better of Embiid’s as the Bucks were able to outlast Philly 90-to-88.
Philly started the game off cold, they could not find the bottom of the basket early in the game. The Sixers look like a team that is still trying to find their chemistry and fit pieces together. The Bucks are not a team that you can do that against. They took full advantage of Philly’s miscues on both ends of the floor. In the fourth quarter the Sixers missed a defensive assignment, and the Bucks made them pay with a game clinching three-pointer. Antetokounmpo led them he scored 21-points despite only making nine/16 shots. The Sixers made him earn every point, but he was able to make baskets late in the game that helped Milwaukee pull away from Philly.
While the Bucks had a mostly smooth night on offense and defense. It was a struggle for the Sixers. However, it was another good night for James Harden. Who continues to show that he will be a force to be reckon with for the Sixers. He singlehandedly brought Philly back into the game in the fourth quarter. Harden scored eight of his 31-points in that quarter. His defensive play also forced Milwaukee’s shooters into some difficult shots. That propelled Philly’s offense as they were able to get out and run and get easy buckets. Harden continues to prove that his offseason work has paid off and if Philly can get more scoring out of everybody else, and consistent defensive play they can get out of this early season zero-wins and two-losses hole that they are in.
The Sixers will prepare for the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. They will need to find a way to get Joel Embiid going. He did not have his best game tonight as he only scored 15-points and looked a little lost on both sides of the ball. Philly will need to make a more consistent effort to get him going because if he gets going Philly’s offensive attack will be hard to stop. Additionally, they will need to get better on the defensive end. There defensive miscues lost them this game tonight and that will need to improve if they want to beat the Spurs on Saturday and get their first win of the young season.