GRADES: Milwaukee Bucks 119, Philadelphia 76ers 98

Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers traveled to Milwaukee for a Saturday night matchup on national television. The Sixers’ shooting eyes, however, remained home, as the Bucks cruised to a 119-98 victory.

If you were a hermit who was a Philadelphia 76ers season-ticket holder and only went to their home games and had no idea what they did when they played away, you would probably think no one could stand in the way of them winning the NBA championship, as they have the best home record in the NBA.

Conversely, if someone just watched the Sixers’ away games, you might wonder who they will pick in the draft lottery, as they have the same record on the road as the bottom-feeding New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Sixers ‘Jekyll and Hyde’-type personality reared its ugly head again on Saturday night, as the host Milwaukee Bucks breezed to a 119-98 victory over Philadelphia at Fiserv Forum.

The Bucks are in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 48-8 record. The 76ers are 35-22 and in fifth place in the East, a game-and-a-half behind the fourth-place Miami Heat.

With the loss, the Sixers are now 9-20 in away games (compared to 26-2 at home).

Philadelphia lost Ben Simmons early due to a re-aggravation of the back injury that forced him to miss Thursday’s game against Brooklyn. Considering the Bucks jumped out to a 12-2 lead before his injury, who knows if his return would have changed things.

The Sixers cut the margin to three points several times in the second period and, despite shooting 34 percent in the first half (4-for-19 on three pointers), were only down 56-50 at halftime. However, things went downhill quickly in the second half as Milwaukee held as much as a 25-point lead.

Despite adding two shooters at the trade deadline in Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks, the Sixers shot a miserable 35 percent for the games to the Bucks’ 52.7 percent. For a team supposedly built on defense, Philly did not show it Saturday.

Center. Philadelphia 76ers. JOEL EMBIID. C. <strong>29 mins | 17 pts | 11 reb | 4 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk | 4 TO | 5-18 FG | 1-2 3PT| 6-7 FT | 4 PF |-18 | </strong>Except for the fact he could not buy a basket, Embiid did not play that badly. He kept them competitive for a half. The Lopez brothers made things tough for him down low. Usually bad shooting nights occur when he chucks up a lot of three, but he only took two this time (making one). He got two quick fouls early in the second half and that took some steam out of game. His play, as well as the rest of the team’s, went downhill quickly after that.

Power forward. Philadelphia 76ers. TOBIAS HARRIS. D-. <strong>31 mins | 11 pts | 5 reb | 1 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 3-10 FG | 0-2 3PT| 5-5 FT | 1 PF | -28 |</strong><p>The lyrics of a song from the original Grinch cartoon pretty much sum up Harris’ night: ‘Stink, Stank, Stunk.” He was a non-factor on offense and his defense was not so hot either. His plus/minus was 10 points worse than anyone else, which says nothing  good was happening for the Sixers when he was on the floor. He would get an ‘F’ except he did make his foul shots at least.</p>

Philadelphia 76ers. SHAKE MILTON. B. <strong>22 mins | 17 pts | 0 reb | 2 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 5-9 FG | 5-7 3PT| 2-2 FT | 0 PF | -6 |</strong><p>For the second game in a row, Milton was able to ‘Shake things up’ offensively. He gave them a boost in the second quarter, hitting two three-pointers as the Sixers clawed back from a big early deficit to cut the margin to three. He also had played well against Brooklyn in the second half when pressed into action due to Simmons’ back problems. He did not fill up the stat sheet but at least he knocked down some shots, which most of his teammates cannot say they did.</p>. Guard

D. <strong>21 mins | 8 pts | 4 reb | 1 ast | 2 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 3-13 FG | 1-5 3PT| 1-2 FT | 2 PF | – 11 | </strong>Two days after providing the Sixers with instant offense against Brooklyn, Burks was more like instant oatmeal Saturday — the memory of his misses will stick with you for a while. With the team dying for offense, which he was traded for to provide, it was not a good time to have a bad shooting night.  Saturday he looked like a guy on a minimum contract.. Guard. Philadelphia 76ers. ALEC BURKS

Forward/Center. Philadelphia 76ers. AL HORFORD. F. <strong>24 mins | 3 pts | 7 reb | 2 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 0 TO | 1-7 FG | 1-6 3PT| 0-0 FT | 4 PF |-13| </strong>A big reason the Sixers inked Horford to a $100 million contract was one thing: Stop Milwaukee. For whatever reason, Horford’s game is simply deteriorating before out eyes. After a poor game against Brooklyn, Horford came up with another clunker. He is so out of the offensive flow that all but one of his shots was a three-point try. Heck, Kyle Korver and J.J. Redick do not have that high a percentage of taking threes.  His defense on Giannis was on the level of his offense. Unless he steps up, this is going to be a problem.

Oddly, the only player on the 76ers to have positive in the plus/minus department was Matisse Thybulle, who posted a +5. Despite all the Bucks’ dangerous wings, he only played 10 minutes.

Furkan Korkmaz tied Embiid for team scoring honors with 17 points.

Backs are tricky, so we will have to wait and see how long Simmons will be out.

Next. 2020 NBA Mock Draft 1.0. dark

Up next for the 76ers is a home game against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. They are one of the worst teams in the league, but the Sixers always have a problem with them.