Exhausted Sixers Prove To Be Just That In Loss To Bucks

NBA: APR 09 76ers at Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers reacts to a play against New Orleans Pelicans during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

It was a rough night for the Sixers as the team was beyond warn out as they near the end of a very tough eight-game stretch.

At some points, the game was too tough to watch as the entire Sixers team struggled against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Doc Rivers’ defense could barely close out, and the Bucks were left with wide-open three after three.

The first quarter was particularly rough as the Sixers gave up 40 points while only managing 26 of their own. The uphill battle created by that first-quarter deficit proved too much to overcome as Joel Embiid, and his team would never even sniff a lead in this game.

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The offense came out sputtering, and it was a particularly difficult quarter for Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris, who combined for only four points. Just an absolute gut-punch of a way to start the game. They never had a shot as both their offense and defensive were terrible from the jump.

They were clearly tired, but also, they clearly missed their best defender. It would be concerning just how bad the team was defensively, but without Simmons and with Embiid still not at 100%, there are reasons for their struggles. That’s without considering the rough schedule they’ve faced and that this game was the second in a back-to-back.

The lack of Simmons especially hurt the team tonight as Doc Rivers was missing both his best on-ball defender and the key to his effective zone defense. The Sixers could pivot defensively, and that lack of flexibility sunk them tonight.

The Philadelphia 76ers will have a day to process their loss, but they will find themselves right back facing off against Milwaukee Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is at 3:30 PM EST, and you can catch the game on ESPN.