Sixers-Bucks observations, best and worst awards: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons, woeful team display
Sorry if this seems like a broken record, but the Sixers' new defensive scheme remains a hot mess.
MILWAUKEE – Here are my main takeaways and best and worst awards from the 76ers' 123-108 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.
– The Sixers have regressed. This game was further proof that the Sixers aren't as good as last season's team that reached the second round of the playoffs. That's not saying they'll remain this way. However, it's obvious that the Sixers aren't close to the squad that finished the 2017-18 regular season with 16 straight wins.
– Sorry if this seems like a broken record, but the Sixers' new defensive scheme remains a hot mess. Opposing players get to the rim with ease and consistently hit three-point shots while the out-of-place and poor-communicating Sixers look confused.
– The Sixers' best bets in the half-court offense are variations of the dribble handoff from Joel Embiid to JJ Redick. Besides that, the Sixers lack movement and originality in the half-court.
– The team has become too reliant on shooting three-pointers even though Embiid is hard to stop on the block. That's fine when the Sixers are making shots. But in addition to their defense being horrible, their poor shot selection also took them out of this game.
– The Sixers have no one other than Ben Simmons, Redick and Embiid to provide consistent scoring. As a result, the Sixers are easy to defend, especially when two of the three are out of the game. And against the Bucks, Simmons often drew crowds in transition, trying to deny him from getting in the paint.
Best and worst
Best performance: This was an easy one. For the second consecutive night, it goes to the opposing team's standout power forward. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a triple-double with a game-high 32 points as well as 18 rebounds and 10 assists. He also had three blocks and two steals. Twenty of his points came in the first half.
Worst performance: Robert Covington had two blocks, but the rest of his game was hard to overlook. The Sixers small forward scored eight points on 3-for-10 shooting and missed four of his five three-point attempts. Covington also finished with a game-worst minus-26, meaning the Sixers were outscored by 26 points when he was on the floor.
Best defensive performance: This goes to Antetokounmpo.
Worst statistic: The Sixers hit 1 of 8 three-pointers in the second and third quarters.
Best statistic: Bucks center Brook Lopez shot 4-for-4 in the second quarter – all three-pointers – to score 12 of his 21 points.
Worst of the worst: This goes to the play of the Sixers role players after the first quarter. Simmons, Embiid and Redick were basically a three-man army on this night.