The Philadelphia 76ers have entered the final week of the season, and things did not get off to the best start after the team lost to the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday at Fiserv Forum. Philadelphia fell 117-104.
Joel Embiid continues to try and make his case for 2023 NBA MVP, but Giannis Antetokounmpo was not having it that night. We unpacked what went wrong, including Giannis and Jrue Holiday selling out to stop James Harden’s pocket-passes to Joel in the pick-and-roll. Joel responded by drifting out to three-point land but he wasn’t able to drain enough from distance to keep Philly within striking distance; plus Harden had turnover issues, mistiming his bounce passes.
Now, the Sixers return home to The Farg to face the second of two-straight games against the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference — the dreaded Boston Celtics.
Adio Royster and David Early unpack all that from Milwaukee then preview a Celtics matchup that might be vital for the Sixers from a health and load management perspective, not to mention further MVP candidacy for Joel. If they win, can they get their stars on ice until the playoffs?
And yeah, things like confidence and momentum for the entire group may be hard to measure but they’re not unimportant either. You don’t want to lose all four regular season matchups to the Green and White heading into the playoffs. They’re on the same side of the bracket and could meet in Round two, barring upsets.
We hit on Tyrese Maxey’s improved defense, speculate how healthy James Harden may really be despite recent comments, and then debate between Nikola Jokic, Giannis, and Embiid’s respective MVP cases.
You may get mad at one of us there.
Don’t miss this one. We’re entering the home stretch, and the playoff matchups are beginning to take shape.