Sixers make a statement against Bucks and put the NBA on notice

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The Sixers were home for Christmas and Joel Embiid & Co. gave fans an absolute gift by dominating the Milwaukee Bucks. On national TV, the Sixers proved that they’re NBA Finals contenders. Joel Embiid led this team to one of their best offensive performances against the NBA’s top defense. The team as a whole performed as they were able to tie a franchise record of 21 made three-pointers in a game.

If the Sixers had lost this game it would have been a disappointment, if they had won a close game, fans would have been ecstatic. Neither of those outcomes occurred though as the Sixers did win, but did so easily. Many (including myself) did not think yesterday’s outcome was even possible but the Sixers surely proved themselves. Hitting the Bucks with everything they had, the Sixers showed that THEY should be feared, not the deer.

Takeaways

Milwaukee’s Best goes missing

The Sixers, namely Joel Embiid, absolutely stuffed Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning MVP is having an year just as impressive as his last but last night, it was Joel Embiid who looked like the MVP. Giannis had a blue blue blue Christmas trying to score against the Sixers, especially Joel Embiid. The “Greek Freak” finished the game with 18 points on 8/27 shooting and missing all seven of his three-point attempts.

The Bucks were unable to compete with their star slumping. Short of Khris Middleton, the supporting cast couldn’t carry the load which showed just how strong the Sixers’ defensive effort was. Like most teams, the Bucks sink or swim with their best player and after this game, the Sixers may have figured Giannis out. For instance, giving Giannis the Ben Simmons approach. Giannis and Ben are very similar players in they are lengthy play-makers who are freak athletes.

Another shared quality is their history of poor shooting. One difference though is Giannis’ willingness to actually shoot which Embiid and the Sixers took full advantage of to the tune of seven missed three-pointers. Sagging off, encouraging bad shot, the Sixers to a well-calculated risk and it paid off. Giannis was off his game, you have to give the Sixers full credit for enforcing that.

Ring that bell Joel

Joel Embiid made himself known to the NBA who left his name off the list of MVP candidates. Not only did Embiid have a incredible showing on a nationwide game, he did so against the team with the best record and reigning MVP. As poor as Giannis played offensively is as dominant as Joel Embiid was on both sides of ball. Scoring an efficient 31 points, Embiid led the Sixers to victory in only 28 minutes on the court.

Embiid was able to score in a variety of ways including shooting a healthy 3/6 from behind the arc. This game was Joel Embiid’s welcome back moment to All NBA stardom and if he keeps up this level of play, he could come home with a few awards by the end of the year.

Up next…

The Sixers will next go down to Orlando to face off against Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic. The Magic are under .500 while the Sixers are currently riding high after their win. The Magic are a more talented team than their record shows so the Sixers need to be focused. This game could be an easy trap game if the Sixers aren’t mentally in the game. The game starts at 7:00 PM EST with coverage beginning at 6:30. Watch on NBA TV or NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live at 97.5 FM the Fanatic.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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