Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers Game Review

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 20: (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 20: (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
Milwaukee Bucks: Jevon Carter
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks started their 2022-23 NBA season Thursday night with a trip to Philadelphia to take on Joel Embiid, James Harden, and the 76ers. The Bucks were coming off a preseason where they went 0-5, and I think it’s safe to say fans wanted a strong start to the season despite missing All-Star Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton to start the season.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers Game Review

This was always going to be a hard game to kick off the season, and it proved to be just that, with the Bucks taking a 90-88 victory thanks to 21 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, and some monster blocks from Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Coach Bud surprised many by giving a start to Jevon Carter.

Philadelphia was coming off an opening night loss to Boston and was looking to avoid an 0-2 start to the season. As it transpired, Philadelphia struggled with the Milwaukee defense early on, and despite scoring the first bucket of the game, they never saw another lead until late in the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee, however, found their groove relatively early and took control of the first quarter ending it with a 6-point lead. At no point were the Sixers looking out of it, but it was a strong start on the road for the Bucks and a good way to take the crowd out of the game and settle the nerves.

The second quarter wasn’t particularly pleasant for anyone involved. Neither team looked great, missing numerous shots and generally looking lackluster on offense – not to take anything away from both defenses, but it was ugly.

As a result, the Sixers closed the gap to 2 points going into halftime.

Scrolling through Bucks Twitter, many had the same fears – how would the Bucks perform in the third quarter after many collapses in the third quarter last season? But there would be no such collapse. Lead by the Greek Freak, Milwaukee romped to a 13-point lead, the biggest of the game, thanks to an 11-2 run, which caused the home fans to not only become unsettled but also to boo their main man, Joel Embiid.

The unexpectedly strong third quarter gave the Bucks a 10-point lead going into the final quarter, and I, for one, started to believe – maybe we were going to take a big road win to start the season.

My optimism was short-lived, and I, along with many more Bucks fans, ended up watching the fourth quarter with my head in my hands. James Harden got hot and scored eight straight points to reduce the deficit. He ended the game with 31 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists and was the standout player for the hosts.

As the game continued, Philadelphia forced shot clock turnovers and forced the Bucks out of bounds. They were upping the ante, and the Bucks struggled to contend with it. Ex Buck, P.J. Tucker stole the ball and set up Harden for a layup to tie the game at 80 with just under 7 minutes left of the game. This completed a 13-0 run for the 76ers, all done with Joel Embiid on the bench, who finished the game shooting 6-21 and -10 overall.

The game became a ding-dong battle, with the lead switching sides for the remainder of the game. With 23.8 seconds left, Wes Matthews came up clutch with a go-ahead three-pointer which proved to be the game-winner. That shot wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for a lovely bit of play from Grayson Allen, attracting defenders before passing it back to an open Matthews.

Brook Lopez had a strong game, finishing with 17 points, whilst fan favorite Bobby Portis helped himself to 11 points from the bench.

Next. Two young Milwaukee Bucks who could play more than expected. dark

The Bucks will look to go 2-0 on Saturday when they return home for their home opener against Houston.