The Milwaukee Bucks will open their season on the road tonight vs the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are already 0-1 after a loss to Boston on opening night.
Both these squads have playoff aspirations and they could certainly meet in the playoffs when that time comes. The court will be littered with elite NBA talent like James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid.
Philadelphia and Milwaukee played three times last year in the regular season, with the Bucks going a 2-1 advantage in those games. Their are elite matchups in this game tonight and it may come down to who’s stars shine the brightest.
Season 10. Let’s gooooooo!! 😤💪🏾💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/k8W6jZEtPB
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) October 19, 2022
3 things to watch for in Bucks vs 76ers
3. Who wins the battle of the boards?
Tonight’s matchup will feature some elite front court talent on both sides. Milwaukee has the two-time league MVP and 2021 NBA champ Giannis Antetokounmpo who’s looking to start the season on a high note. Philadelphia’s star big man is the five-time all-star and four-time All-NBA selection, Joel Embiid.
Both Antetokounmpo and Embiid averaged similar stats last season. Embiid averaged a few more rebounds, and Antetokounmpo with slightly more points. When your team is playing one of these two, you better hope your center and power forward are up for the challenge. We’ll see these two battling all night to get their team a win.
South Philly, let’s ride.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 20, 2022
2. Can James Harden have a repeat performance?
Despite a losing effort on opening night, James Harden still had one of his best games yet with the 76ers. He played 37 minutes vs Boston and had 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. The ten-time all-star is still playing at a high level for his team and he carried their offense at times on Tuesday night.
Harden looked like his vintage self vs the Celtics. His three-point shot was his biggest weapon and went 5-9 for the game. Using his signature step-back three, Harden was able to get defenders to foul him on more than a few three-point attempts. The beard cashed in from the line as well, going 12-12 on free throws. Harden had a great game on Tuesday night and he’ll need his counterpart Joe Embiid to have a better game. Expect Jrue Holiday to be guarding Harden when they are both playing.
1. Two underrated players from each team
Each team in this matchup has their superstars who can carry the team. What about the players that make an impact when the stars are on the bench?
An underrated player for the Sixers is Georges Niang. He’s a rotation player that see’s a solid amount of playing time, but he is still heavily underrated. Niang played a career-high 76 games last season and also had a carrer-high in points averaged (9.2). Additionally, he he’s a versatile player who can matchup with just about anyone on the court. Look for Niang to come off the bench to provide a spark for the Sixers.
This player was never underrated in the early portion of his career, but as he’s gotten older, Serge Ibaka has been slept on. He won a championship with the Raptors in 2019 and has regressed a bit in the past 2-3 years. Despite that, the Bucks still have Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez as their PF and C to start. Ibaka can come off the bench and give Milwaukee a solid 15-18 minutes a game to give their other big men a rest.
"Game one, Baby!!" pic.twitter.com/ab7lA5US27
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 19, 2022
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