By: Kylan Watson
Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo renewed their rivalry for the second time this season. Embiid got the better of him tonight as he powered Philly to a 110-to-102 comeback victory, and their eighth victory of the season.
Following up on his 59-point outing last Sunday night, Embiid picked up right where he left off as he made his presence felt on both sides of the court. He scored 32-points, grabbed 11 rebounds, had eight assists, and three blocks. He blocked Giannis two-times tonight to really set the tone for his team. Embiid really helped his team pull-away from the Bucks late as he hit some big buckets late in the game and found Shake Milton late for the game-winning dunk that kept Milwaukee in check. Embiid will continue to be the pivotal piece for the Sixers early in the season, he has now scored 133 points in Philly’s last three games. He will need to do more heavy lifting as Tyrese Maxey went down tonight with a rolled ankle. He will have an MRI tomorrow night that will determine how long he will be out. The Sixers continue to wait for James Harden to return in early December. Embiid’s playmaking and scoring will become even more important, as he will need to not only score more but increase his assists totals which he has done even more of. He may need to start getting into triple-double territory to help his teammates score more without Harden and Maxey creating space.
Despite the offensive explosion from Embiid the Bucks were in control of the game throughout most of it. Giannis Antetokounmpo led them as he scored 25-points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and was the key cog for Milwaukee throughout the night. He did just enough to keep the Sixers on their heels. Philly made some key defensive adjustments which was throwing a lot of bodies at Giannis. Sounds simple but what Philly did was trap him more to get the ball out of his hands, and force someone else to beat them. In the fourth quarter nobody was able to meet the challenge.
The Sixers escaped tonight despite being very loose with the ball. They now prepare for the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow night. Philly will need another big scoring performance from Joel Embiid if they want to push their win streak to three. Additionally, they will need to increase their defensive intensity to limit the perimeter scoring of the Timberwolves who maybe struggling right now, but when they get hot from the perimeter they can compete with any team in the league.