The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 90-85, in a shell of a game that this had the potential of being. Between the Sixers figuring it out and the Bucks playing defense sparingly, this game became irrelevant three days ago, as the Sixers clinched a playoff spot and the Bucks were eliminated from contention. As such, each team held out key players, one to rest for the playoffs and the other to improve draft position. Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young, and Lou Williams all did not play for the Sixers. Ditto for Ersan Ilyasova, Monta Ellis, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Carlos Delfino, and Drew Gooden for the Bucks.
Because the importance of the match up faded to almost nothing and all of the above players sat out, last night’s game morphed into a glorified pick-up game. The players who played went for their own stats seemingly, with only the coaches giving a darn about shot selection and smart play. Given that the Sixers would much rather face Chicago than Miami, you would think the Sixers would play to lose. It was the one thing of meaning this game had. But with Doug Collins’ “winning mentality” and players trying to prove their worth for the postseason, there was some effort given to win. Also, the Bucks scrubs were worse than ours, which helps.
However, there are fun things to take from this game: the gaudy statistical results! Here’s a few to note:
- The Sixers attempted 101 shots, their most in a game this season. The previous high was 97, done twice. The Sixers scored at least 106 points in each of those games. In this one, they scored only 90.
- Despite having 101 shots fired, the Sixers had 2 players score in double figures. Two. I’m not an expert in this field, but I imagine this happens very rarely.
- Jodie Meeks (19) and Evan Turner (29) attempted more shots each that in any previous game this year. Jodie’s previous high was 16, in a game he scored 31. Turner’s previous high was 19. On his 29 shots, he scored 29 points. That’s some kind of inefficient scoring line, though he contributed on the boards and in the assist column (13 and 7, respectively).
- Also of note: Turner attempted zero free throws during the first 47:53 of the game – all 4 free throws he attempted came late, when the Bucks were forced to foul to regain possession. That’s right: 29 shots, no free throws at one point. It’s quite an achievement, and not a good thing. For someone that’s not a three point shooter, he’ll need to get to the line to justify the amount of shot attempts.
- Xavier Silas made his season debut, and played as many minutes as any other Sixers’ reserve. Of course, he tied with Craig Brackins, who also set a career-high in minutes played. They both played more than Nikola Vucevic off the bench, who started the previous 8 games. Vooch will likely not see a meaningful minute in the playoffs.
In an important development, J.R. Smith refused to allow the Knicks to tank successfully at the end of their game against the Clippers, meaning we are still tied with New York in the standings, with the Knicks having the tie-breaker. New York gets to feast on Charlotte tomorrow night. The Sixers have a more difficult match up, against Detroit, whose effort is hit-or-miss. In all likelihood, this win won’t hurt the Sixers later on, and a chance at the Bulls in the first round will still await.
And one more note: no, Brackins did not play in warm-ups. Though I imagine few would have noticed had he done so.
Topics: Andre Iguodala, Carlos Delfino, Craig Brackins, Drew Gooden, Elton Brand, Ersan Ilyasova, Evan Turner, J.R. Smith, Jodie Meeks, Lou Williams, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, Milwaukee Bucks, Monta Ellis, Nikola Vucevic, Recaps, Thaddeus Young, Xavier Silas