Milwaukee Bucks: 3 matchups to watch for against Philadelphia 76ers

Feb 6, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 6, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After having won their last four games, the Milwaukee Bucks will be faced with their latest test this season when visiting the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night.

This will mark the first meeting of the 2020-21 season between the long-time rivals. Unfortunately, it comes at a time where the Bucks, having recently returned to full strength, will go up against a 76ers team that will be without their best player and MVP candidate, Joel Embiid, after he suffered a bone bruise in his left knee last week.

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Even so, the Bucks are hunting for the top spot in the East, which is currently occupied by the 76ers, and are on quite the surge at the moment. Meanwhile, Philly is holding on strong without Embiid after blowing out the San Antonio Spurs and beating the New York Knicks Tuesday night, raising their win streak to six games.

So without further ado, let’s look at the three matchups that will define the high-profile clash between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers.

First matchup to watch for between Milwaukee Bucks and 76ers — Giannis Antetokounmpo versus the 76ers’ interior defenders

While this isn’t the same level of matchup as it was shaping up to be less than a week ago, Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will certainly look to give more than what the 76ers can handle Wedenesday night.

As I wrote about Tuesday, the back-to-back MVP has been absolutely transcendent not just coming out of the All-Star break where he has three straight triples, but as the season has gone along. And now as the Bucks have won nine of their last ten outings, Antetokounmpo has been at the center of re-establishing the Bucks’ dominance.

Antetokounmpo is getting set to face off against a Philadelphia defense that ranks second in defensive efficiency, per And the 76ers are tied for 11th in the league by surrendering 46.3 paint points per game to their opponents.

While the 76ers will be without their preeminent rim protector, they have some athletic rim protectors like Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard who will look to hold down the fort in Embiid’s absence. And their overall defensive personnel has certainly coalesced this time around with the addition of Danny Green and arrival of head coach Doc Rivers.

Still, given the recent form he has been in and the hole in the middle that the 76ers will look to cover up without Embiid, Antetokounmpo could have another field day to propel the Bucks’ attack once again.