Milwaukee Bucks: 3 takeaways from 123-108 win over Philadelphia 76ers

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 24: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 24: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 24: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 24: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Bucks can win without playing well

It feels weird to say that the Bucks didn’t play well while they beat the 76ers, a team that is likely going to win 50 games this season and be a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, by a comfortable 15-point margin. But, it’s a fair statement to make in this case.

Yes, the Bucks scored 123 points, but they did it while only shooting 41 percent from the field and just 30 percent from beyond the three-point line. In fact, take away the second quarter in which the Bucks were 8-13 from deep, and Milwaukee went just 5-30 as a team from behind the arc.

The Bucks weren’t as efficient as a team as they normally are, but they still won. Winning games when you’re not playing or shooting at your best is more important than winning games when everything seems to be going in.

For one, it pretty much puts to rest the whole “live by the three, die by the three” motto that some may think the Bucks play by. (*cough* Marques Johnson *cough*) The Bucks certainly weren’t living large from beyond the arc this game, but they still beat a very good team by a comfortable margin.

How did they do it? Well, it should be mentioned that Philadelphia was playing on a back-to-back after an intense game last night in Detroit that they also lost. In the second half, the team as a whole looked flat and low on energy. To be honest, the Bucks should have won by more if they were hitting shots at their normal rate.

Kudos, though, should also go to the Bucks’ defense. After a tough first quarter in which the 76ers put up 34 points, the Bucks held them to just 30 in the second quarter as their offense caught fire, and just 44 points in the entire second half as the Bucks’ offense struggled to put the 76ers away.

No 76ers player besides Joel Embiid, who finished with 30 points and 19 rebounds, had a positive plus/minus. Simmons, who statistically had a great game with a triple-double, was just 6-of-15 from the field and was a minus -10 in his time on the floor, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton took turns defending the 6’10” point guard.

The Bucks still took a lot of shots from deep, with 43 three-point attempts, but were able to pull out a win despite only making 13 of them. It’s an important win just so that the team can move on into the season knowing that even when the shots aren’t going in consistently, they still have what it takes to pull out a W.