In one of the last games prior to the NBA All Star Break, two teams that have a legitimate shot at winning the Eastern Conference will square off, as the Milwaukee Bucks will host the Philadelphia 76ers. Both of these teams are near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams made a splash at the trade deadline as well. With that said, let’s have a look at both teams and how they arrive to this 76ers vs Bucks matchup so you can bet against their NBA Odds.
NBA Betting Preview for Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee
A Closer Look
The Bucks acquired big man Serge Ibaka to fill a defensive and rebounding void left in the frontcourt when Brook Lopez wasn’t able to return from his back injury. The Sixers made the biggest splash in the trade market when they unloaded disgruntled superstar Ben Simmons and others to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for James Harden.
Speaking of Harden, this game was the game where many felt that he would make his Sixers debut. Unfortunately, Harden’s hamstring is still sore, so he won’t play for Philadelphia until after the All Star Break. Harden also bowed out of the All Star game due to his condition.
Prior to Tuesday night’s game, the Milwaukee Bucks are sitting at 35-23, currently good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. The Bucks are just 2.5 games behind the East-leading Miami Heat. With Lopez only playing one game, and the Bucks being ravaged by injuries and COVID-19 issues, the Bucks haven’t played up to their capabilities. Their “Big Three” of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday have only played 29 games together. In those 29 games, the Bucks are 23-6.
Defensively, the Bucks have struggled this season. Much of that has been due to the fact that they’ve been without Lopez, who was their rim protector. Now that they have acquired Ibaka to replace Lopez, many feel that Milwaukee’s defense will be greatly improved.
The Philadelphia 76ers are currently 34-22, and are also 2.5 games behind Miami. Philadelphia started off slowly, but once Joel Embiid got healthy, the Sixers started soaring up the Eastern Conference standings. Embiid is currently the frontrunner for the league MVP award. While the Sixers got Harden, they did lose some key pieces. Even though Ben Simmons hadn’t played this season, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond had made some big contributions to the Sixers. Now that they’re gone, they’re hoping that Harden fills the shooting/scoring void left by those two going to Brooklyn.
If Embiid can stay inspired, and Harden comes in and gives full effort, Philadelphia will be a force to be reckoned with. When Embiid is motivated, he may be the most complete player in the league. He can score inside and outside, and he can also change the game on the defensive end of the floor as well. Now that he has Harden, and the Simmons saga is behind him, as long as Embiid stays healthy, the Sixers will be a tough out in the playoffs.
While many will be disappointed that Harden won’t be playing in this one, we will still see a very exciting game heading into the All Star Break. Both of these teams are fighting for playoff positioning, and they both still have a great shot at winning the East. This one will be an exciting game to watch!
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