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Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia: Bucks Beat Their Little Brothers, 118-109

Always nice to get a win against the children of Philly.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t the prettiest of affairs on Tuesday night inside the Wells Fargo Center, but the Milwaukee Bucks were able to hunker down in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers to earn their fifth victory of the season.

Interestingly enough, the Bucks moved to 4-2 on the road so far...a far cry from their home dominance the last few seasons.

What We Learned

Grayson Allen has done wonders for the Bucks in only 11 games. Acquired for a bag of Cheetos, he has hit the ground running and is only boosting the ceiling of this Milwaukee team. The scary thing to think about is he is going to continue to get open looks once they are back to full strength (whenever that might be). For now, he’s locked into a huge offensive workload and has answered the call admirably...and then some.

He tormented the 76ers to the tune of 25 points while making 5-of-9 attempts from deep. His biggest contributions came in the final frame with both teams trading punches, though, He added eight points while hitting two humongous threes, one of which put the dagger in the home team’s coffin. His chemistry with Giannis Antetokounmpo is off the charts and Allen possesses a high basketball I.Q. and he understands where to be at all times when GA is on the floor. They haven’t played together that long...sheesh.

Three Observations

Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his dominance over the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s now 21-5 against Philly in his career. I don’t care who was healthy or not for Philly, it is not easy to play in front of a hostile crowd on national television. While he did struggle with both his jumper and free throw shooting, no one was stopping him inside the paint. Nine of his 10 makes were in the paint and he could have had more but he did miss a few bunnies he typically finishes with ease. In all, it was another easy 31/16/4/2 night for the reigning NBA Champion/Finals MVP who continues to grow his game on a nightly basis. While it wasn’t all great yesterday, his passing REALLY stood out once again. It’s not just about making an accurate pass to a shooter’s pocket, it’s about how patient he is in waiting for the play to develop. His two prettiest passes came in the fourth where he found Bobby Portis in the corner for three with a slick flick of the wrist chest pass and the other was to Grayson Allen from the opposite corner a few minutes later to officially end the 76ers. What else is there to say?

Semi Ojeleye had his best game as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. I understand the bar has been pretty low for him considering how poorly he has played, but it was delightful to see him have a positive impact throughout the game. I get it, he was hurt and had the short offseason to get acclimated with the Bucks...but it still seemed like he couldn’t do much right (aside from sliding his feet defensively). Last night was a different story, however. With Philadelphia racing out to a first-quarter advantage, Semi countered by scoring eight points and knocking down two three-pointers from the identical spot. He’s been open this season and has not made opposing defenses pay and perhaps last night is what he needed to get going. He also did a great job on the glass, especially on the offensive end. Five of his eight rebounds were offensive and he created tons of extra opportunities for the Bucks. This is what they envisioned when they signed him this offseason. His plus-4 led all players from the bench mob.

Jrue Holiday is still finding his footing after returning from an ankle injury. It’s clear that he’s still not 100% and his timing is way off as we saw him commit a turnover late in the second half off of a miscommunication with Giannis (it was Jrue’s fault). While he did do a little bit of everything, finishing with eight points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocked shots, he struggled with his shot (4-of-14). He did have a gorgeous drive to the basket where he tried to convert an up and under but it didn’t fall. Thanks to basket interference by Andre Drummond, the basket did count. It might take an additional week or two to see the Holiday from last season, but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Bonus Bits

  • Jordan Nwora added eight points and did show his potential...but he remains rather inconsistent.
  • I am not sure Justin Robinson is an NBA player. He has had some bright moments this season, but I don’t think his Bucks tenure is very long for the road.
  • George Hill added eight points in 32 minutes of action. I was optimistic when Milwaukee brought him back but it’s clear his age is catching up to him. While he remains a lethal catch-and-shoot three-point shooter, that’s about it.
  • Pat Connaughton (eight points) hit a momentum-shifting three late in the fourth which was much-needed as he has struggled as of late.
  • Bobby Portis contributed 19/10/3 and provided the offense a boost when things got a bit hairy.
  • 46.3/38.5/71.4 shooting splits for the Bucks