Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers fell to a tough loss against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, with Giannis Antetokounmpo getting the crucial game-winning block over Joel Embiid.
The battle dealt a blow to Philly's climb up the Eastern Conference, as they had fallen to fourth after the game (currently 3rd after Boston's loss to Miami). It also dealt a blow to Joel Embiid's MVP case, as Giannis outplayed him with a monster stat-line of 40 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 blocks.
Giannis had his monster night on 66% shooting, which exposed a lot of flaws in Philadelphia's defense, especially without Embiid on the floor. The star big man was miffed about the defensive performance by the team and questioned why the team didn't execute the strategy they had discussed to limit Antetokounmpo.
“The game really changed when I went on the bench. At the end of that third quarter, beginning of the fourth, their best player scored, I don’t know, 17 in a row or whatever that was. We didn’t do what we had to do and they made their run and they cut the lead and they gained some momentum and it carried over.
The whole time when I was on the floor, I made sure that I was there to help, I thought we didn’t follow that strategy. We didn’t build a wall. And he(Giannis) had a lot of free rein to just attack and get whatever he wanted. And that changed the game. Maybe next time, just match up the minutes.”
The 76ers have an easy final 7 opponents of the season, with their toughest opponents being the Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Charlotte Hornets. Hopefully, they can find their footing through this stretch and solidify a strong seed in the conference ahead of the playoffs.