The Philadelphia 76ers are home tonight for the second game of a back-to-back, as they welcome the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks to town. Philly could desperately use a win: they’ve dropped their last two games and still need their magic number of two more wins to lock up the 3rd seed. The Bucks still have something to play for as they too have yet to lock in their seeding — the Toronto Raptors are narrowly still in play to finish in 1st place.
Unlike the Sixers, the Bucks have not taken their foot off of the accelerator as the regular season inches closer its expiration date. Giannis Antetokounmpo is making one final push for the MVP award, averaging 28.9 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game since the start of March, all while averaging just 32 minutes per game in that span. (If I had a vote, he’d get it.) Giannis has helped power the Bucks to 7-3 in their last 10 games with an average margin of victory of 16 points.
One of those aforementioned three Bucks losses, however, did come against the Sixers on March 17th. Joel Embiid lead the way for Philly in that game though (40 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists), and unfortunately he is listed as out for tonight’s matchup.
Milwaukee is a bit beat up at the moment as well, with a couple of recent season-ending injuries and both Ersan Ilyasova and Khris Middleton listed as game-time decisions.
Without Embiid, and on a back-to-back, Brett Brown’s squad could find it quite the challenge to come out on top of the league’s best team (according to record). What compounds the angst associated with that sentiment is the fact that if the Sixers do drop tonight’s game, they will be guaranteed to have just one more win than the 4th place team by Saturday morning, as the tied-for-4th Pacers and Celtics face off tomorrow night. Are you worried yet?
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
When: 8:00 pm EST
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia PA
Watch: TNT, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Projected Starters & Injury Report
UPDATE (12:45 pm): Joel Embiid has been upgraded to a game-time decision, according to RotoWire.