GRADES: Sixers never show up in embarrassing loss to Bucks

Tobias Harris, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Tobias Harris, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sixers, without all-star Ben Simmons, fell victim to a Milwaukee Bucks team that seemingly couldn’t miss early and never relinquished the lead they held wire-to-wire.

Milwaukee corralled the tip-off and the game was pretty much over after that. Jrue Holiday kicked off the scoring. A Giannis Antetokounmpo lay-up pushed the lead to 17-4 less than four minutes into the game. Not until over six minutes in did Milwaukee finally miss their first shot.

Philadelphia’s MVP candidate, Joel Embiid, was held to two first quarter points as Milwaukee surrounded him and let Brook Lopez hold his ground on the block.

The first quarter mercifully came to an end with Milwaukee leading, 40-26.

The second quarter was another disappointing effort defensively for Philadelphia. Bobby Portis and Lopez combined for 18 points in the quarter as Philadelphia surrendered 37 points. The teams entered the half with Milwaukee leading 77-60.

Philadelphia tried to make a run early in the third quarter as they closed the lead to 11, but Milwaukee pulled away as a rather quiet first half from Antetokounmpo gave way to an aggressive, two-time, reigning-MVP.

Philadelphia gave another strong push towards the end of the quarter before a 13-2 run, including eight points from Bobby Portis in the final 90 seconds, pushed Milwaukee’s lead going into the fourth quarter to 21 points, 108-87.

In the fourth, Philadelphia outscored Milwaukee 30-16, getting the game to two possessions and forcing Milwaukee to put their starters back in. All, too-little-too-late as Milwaukee took the game 124-117.

Grades from a flat and uninspired Sixers loss to a competitive Milwaukee Bucks team.

C-. . C. 76ers. JOEL EMBIID

26 mins | 24 pts | 3 reb | 3 ast | 0 stl | 1 blk | 1 TO | 9-21 FG | 0-4 3PT| 6-7 FT | 3 PF | -19 |

Embiid just wasn’t himself tonight. Milwaukee is a tough matchup with their ability to defend the rim and the game was a bum rush from the start. It’s important to watch the tape as they’ll face Milwaukee again on Saturday, but this was a throw-away game from one tired team and another on three day’s rest.

76ers. TOBIAS HARRIS. C+. . PF

30 mins | 18 pts | 2 reb | 6 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 8-16 FG | 0-1 3PT| 2-2 FT | 1 PF | -17 |

Tobias Harris played fine. There isn’t too much more to add. He scored, played within the offense, the team got crushed, he could have rebounded better, and the whole team needs to defend better. This game felt disappointing from Harris and that is a great thing for Philadelphia.

76ers. SHAKE MILTON. B+. . PG

26 mins | 20 pts | 3 reb | 4 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 8-14 FG | 3-5 3PT| 1-2 FT | 1 PF | +3 |

Shake Milton was the lone bright spot for Philadelphia. He played hard, shot efficiently, and attacked the rim. Without Simmons, Milton resumed his role off the bench as George Hill started, he provided a scoring punch the team desperately needed.

B-. . PG. 76ers. TYRESE MAXEY

19 mins | 11 pts | 0 reb | 5 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 2 TO | 4-11 FG | 2-4 3PT| 1-2 FT | 4 PF | +6 |

Maxey hasn’t been seeing a ton of minutes as Doc Rivers has adjusted his rotation. While Simmons is out, Maxey has seen some extended run. He showcased scoring and playmaking sill while still seeming raw. Maxey has been a solid first-year player. At this stage of his career, flashes are more important than consistency and tonight was a decent offensive flash.

. C. 76ers. DWIGHT HOWARD. B

14 mins | 4 pts | 7 reb | 2 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 1-1 FG | 0-0 3PT| 2-2 FT | 2 PF | +2 |

Howard made the list by default. There weren’t many strong performances to choose. That said, Howard played decent and was the only player who grabbed more than four rebounds. While not the player he once was, Howard absolutely profiles as a tremendous off the bench option providing defense and rebounding.

Milwaukee was coming off three day’s rest. Philadelphia was playing their fifth game in eight days. It showed. Philadelphia will get an immediate revenge opportunity as the teams square off against one another on Saturday as they may be aiming to reclaim their spot atop the Eastern Conference, hopefully with a healthy Simmons.

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