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Sixers @ Bucks: Game Preview and Start Time

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No Joel :(

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Embiid is OUT tonight, disregard anything that has to do with Joel.

Yes that’s right. Joel Embiid might be playing on the back end of their back-to-back roadie as the Sixers will make the 870 mile trip to north to square off against the Bucks. The Sixers are coming off a loss against the reigning MVP in a slugfest of a game, which included Joel Embiid putting Russell Westbrook into the mantle of the Earth.

(I stayed up all night watching this again and again and again and again and again)

Milwaukee is also on the final leg of a back-to-back as they took care of the Bulls last night in Chicago.

The Sixers and Bucks faced off earlier this month as the Sixers handled the Giannis-less Bucks at home for a 116-94 on January 20th. In that game, Joel Embiid dropped 29 and 9 and was helped out by Ben Simmons’ near triple double and the start of TLC’s hot streak.

Things will be different this time around though as the Bucks have their star back and he introduces a very unique defensive matchup for the Sixers. We are now used to seeing Simmons lockdown point guards that are much smaller size wise; we also see Simmons has the ability to out muscle smaller guards in the post to get easy buckets. Giannis poses a threat because, he virtually does the same thing. Throw a big man him, he’ll go around him. Throw a guard on him, he’ll out muscle and use his length to create scoring opportunities. Throw a wing on him, you’re causing a matchup problem somewhere else on the floor that can be exploited. The only difference here is, Simmons is our point guard and Giannis typically plays the 3 with Bledsoe running the point. So if Simmons finds himself guarding Giannis, that means either Robert Covington or Timothe will switch on to him (my biggest fear is that Dario will be forced to switch on to him and get taken advantage of).

It is reported that Embiid has a good chance to play in his first back-to-back of his career, which is very exciting, even if he is on a minutes restriction and heavily monitored. If Joel does play tonight, it will only the 2nd matchup between Giannis and Embiid in their young careers. In their first matchup Joel managed 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 blocks while Giannis posted a similar 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Safe to say this game will have plenty of “unicorn” sightings and a ton of interesting matchups on both sides of the ball.

Other Things to look for:

The Bucks are 3-0 since firing head coach Jason Kidd, a move that Giannis was reportedly very upset about. They are playing some fired up, inspired basketball.

For whatever reason, people felt the need to take to twitter and tweet at Robert Covington after his quiet performance last night (11 points on 3-9 from three) and he had this to say to his haters…

Game info:

Start Time: 8:00

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Listen: 97.5 the Fanatic

Follow along on Twitter: @Liberty_Ballers