The Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks will clash on Thursday in what will be the first of two back-to-back fixtures between the two sides. Both Eastern Conference heavyweights enter this game on the back of a patchy run.
Fixture: Philadelphia 76ers vs Milwaukee Bucks | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Thursday, April 22nd, 7 PM ET (Friday, 4:30 AM IST)
Venue: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Philadelphia 76ers Preview
The Philadelphia 76ers concluded their four-game homestand with two consecutive losses. With other top teams in the East also losing multiple games lately, the Sixers have managed to hold on to the top seed in their conference. Injuries to key players is the main reason why the team has suffered lately.
Ben Simmons has missed the last two games with an illness and his defensive presence was sorely missed by the Philadelphia 76ers. Tobias Harris is also recovering from a hip injury. Both players are doubtful for the matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Danny Green has taken on an increased scoring load for the Philadelphia 76ers due to the absence of the aforementioned players. He scored 18 points in the loss against Phoenix. Green has averaged 13.7 points, six rebounds, 2.3 steals and one block in the last three games. He'll be partnered by Seth Curry, who was rested for the game last night.
Key Player - Joel Embiid
A Joel Embiid heave almost saved the Philadelphia 76ers against the Phoenix Suns last night. He put up 38 points and 17 rebounds in a losing cause. Embiid has been on a tear of late. He's averaging 35.4 points and 12.8 rebounds through the last five games. Embiid didn't feature in the Sixers' previous game against the Milwaukee Bucks this season and will be looking to catch them by surprise.
Philadelphia 76ers Predicted Lineup
G Seth Curry, G Furkan Korkmaz, F Danny Green, F Mike Scott, C Joel Embiid
Milwaukee Bucks Preview
The Milwaukee Bucks have begun their four-game homestand with a couple of deflating losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns. They're still sitting comfortably in third place in the East and enjoy the head-to-head advantage over their upcoming opponents, the Philadelphia 76ers.
The biggest concern for the Milwaukee Bucks has been their defense. They're slowly transitioning into a switch-everything setup, but things haven't always gone according to plan. Head coach Mike Budenholzer doesn't have injuries to deal with but his unit still lacks reliable options in the second unit.
Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton have carried a major chunk of the load for the Milwaukee Bucks on both ends of the court. Holiday has averaged 21 points on 50-40-90 splits to go with his 6.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game in April. Meanwhile, Middleton has managed 19.8 points, 6.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds through nine games this month.
Key Player - Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo has had his injury struggles lately. He missed six games recently with knee soreness and exited the matchup against the Suns early due to a cramp. But he's expected to be available for the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night. Giannis had 32 points and 15 rebounds in the last matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers and will be looking to put up similar numbers tonight. He will also be tasked with defending Joel Embiid.
Milwaukee Bucks Predicted Lineup
G Jrue Holiday, G Donte DiVincenzo, F Khris Middleton, F Giannis Antetokounmpo, C Brook Lopez
76ers vs Bucks Match Prediction
The Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks are pretty evenly matched on paper but the list of injuries tips the game in favor of the latter. Embiid and Giannis will pretty much cancel each other out, but the Sixers do not have the resources to nullify the other two members of Milwaukee's big three. Expect the Bucks to eke out a win in what is likely to be a close contest.
Where to watch 76ers vs Bucks?
National telecast of the game will be available on TNT while local coverage of the same will only be carried by Bally Sports Wisconsin. You can also live stream this matchup via the NBA League Pass.