In the midst of an ugly three-game losing streak that has seen the Sixers fall 3.5 games back of even the four-seed in the East, we knew the team would not be standing pat at the trade deadline. Lo, they did not, already making a significant move by acquiring Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III from Golden State for three second-round picks. To the surprise of some, Brand didn’t even have to give up good second-round picks, just ones that Josh Harris was going to have the team sell anyway so he can continue helicoptering into kids’ soccer games in the style to which he is accustomed. So good job, Elton!
As a result, the Sixers still have some slightly more desirable picks available if they’re not done wheeling and dealing. They also have to clear two roster spots by 3:00pm EST, so the roster as it stands now is definitively not the one Philadelphia will have when they take the court tonight. Which is weird, because tonight’s game against Milwaukee feels pretty substantial.
Even aside from the roster flux, things were less copacetic in Sixers-land than you would like heading into a game against a Bucks team with the best record in the league. We had the comments from Al Horford about stuff going on the locker room, which were blown out of proportion taken out of context:
Here's the full Al Horford quote that everybody is taking the wrong way: pic.twitter.com/e946sXg3iL— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) February 5, 2020
And Episode IX of Joel Embiid complaining about a lack of spacing, with all of the accompanying subtext:
It’s not what you want to hear heading into the second meeting against the team you were supposed to be co-favorites with to win the East heading into the season. The good news is that the Sixers showed back on Christmas Day that the roster constructed to beat the Bucks, can, you know, beat the Bucks. Philadelphia’s 121-109 win over Milwaukee on December 25 is probably the emotional high point of the season, along with maybe one of the Boston wins. Sure, there was some outside shooting variance happening in that game, and Josh Richardson won’t be available tonight, but the Sixers are the only team in the league possessing three guys to credibly throw at Giannis Antetokounmpo. That fact has to count for something.
Tonight’s game is on TNT, so we’ll likely have to hear Shaq and Chuck talk about how Embiid needs to get his butt on the block, even if he’s on the court with two other teammates also looking to post up. It will be interesting to see whether the team makes another major or minor move over the course of the day, and just what the roster will look like at 8:00pm EST. This entire Frankenstein of a team was built to beat the Bucks. So go out and beat the Bucks.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
When: 8:00 pm ET
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Philadelphia: Josh Richardson (out - hamstring)