The Sixers need a loss in the worst way. A win pretty much destroys all hopes at a top 6 pick, and puts the 7th in jeopardy as well. The Sixers must, lose, out. With that in mind, tonight's game absolutely terrifies me.
The last time the Sixers and Bucks met, the Bucks were 15-2 since trading for John Salmons, and 8-0 at home. So what happened? The reeling Sixers went into Milwaukee and absolutely destroy the Bucks, from start to finish. Tonight the Bucks come into Philadelphia, without arguably their best player (Andrew Bogut), playing a team who they matchup terribly against.
I wish I could come up with logical analysis, but I can't. Will we see the Sixers team who were blown out by the Pistons, or will we see the team who played the Heat tough? Will we see the Bucks shoot 40 percent -- including 5-28 from three -- again? I have no idea.
You could make the case that the Bucks have nothing to play for at this point. They're virtually locked into 5-6 seed, scheduled to play either the Celtics or Hawks in the first round, without home-court advantage. I guess going into the playoffs on a high matters, but I'm holding out hope that they remember the beatdown the Sixers laid on them a few weeks ago, and come out with some fire.
I'm also hoping we see a lot of Jason Smith, Jason Kapono, and fellow scrubs. The Jrue v. Jennings matchup would normally headline this game for me, but it's completely secondary at this point. A loss really is, all that matters.
As far as the lottery standings go, just know that the Sixers need to lose out -- not only to have a shot at anything top 6 -- but to maintain sole possession of the 7-spot. The Clippers might not win another game, and they're only half a game back of the Sixers. A Sixers win would be crushing.