Sixers Labeled ‘Nightmare’ for Giannis Antetokounmpo & Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris

Getty Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers

Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report listed a nightmare matchup for every team in the Eastern Conference. When he got to the Milwaukee Bucks, Swartz explained why the Philadelphia 76ers are the nightmare matchup for them.

Swartz used the latest matchup between the two teams on March 4, in which the Sixers beat the Bucks 133-130, as evidence of why the Sixers match up well against the Bucks.

“Milwaukee’s recent 16-game win streak looked like it would reach 17 against the 76ers until a fourth-quarter meltdown saw the Bucks give up a whopping 48 points.

“Allowing 133 points in total to the Sixers should have Milwaukee a little hesitant to face Joel Embiid, James Harden, and company again, especially since both stars registered 30-plus point double-doubles,” Swartz said.

Swartz then specifically delved into why Joel Embiid is a bad matchup for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“If there’s anyone who can make Giannis Antetokounmpo appear mortal, it’s Embiid. The two-time MVP was just 9-of-21 from the floor with seven turnovers in the loss to Philly, and is shooting just 41.4 percent overall in three games against the Sixers with Embiid or P.J. Tucker as the primary defender, per matchup data.”

He then ended it by saying how well the Sixers match up with the Bucks in other areas.

“There are few teams in the league who can match Milwaukee’s combination of star power, depth, and playoff experience. The 76ers check all of these boxes and more.”

The Sixers are four games behind the Bucks for the no. 1 seed in the conference and two games behind the Boston Celtics for the no. 2 seed

Embiid Sends Strong Message to Antetokounmpo

After the Sixers beat the Bucks, Embiid talked about what it’s like to match up against the two-time MVP.

“It’s not easy to guard him, but when you’re, I guess, 7-foot-2 and you can move, and you’re also pretty strong, it becomes not easy but becomes a lot easier too because he’s so strong,” Embiid said, per Ky Carlin of SixersWire. “He goes so hard, and it’s kind of like a fullback diving at you basically, and you just got to take it and hope for the best.”

Embiid also talked about how he relishes the challenge of guarding the other team’s best player, like Antetokounmpo.

“I like that pressure to guard the best players on the other teams and I thought it did a pretty good job in that fourth quarter.”

Antetokounmpo Says Sixers Game Was ‘Good Lesson’

After the Sixers beat the Bucks in their last matchup, Antetokounmpo talked about how the Sixers pulled off the win and what the Bucks can learn from it.

“They went wherever they wanted to go, scoring from the paint, floaters, isos, offensive rebounds, free throws, 3s,” Antetokounmpo said, via The Associated Press. “You name it. They were able to get everything. We’ve got to be able to play 48 minutes of good basketball, defend for 48 minutes. This is a good lesson for us.”

Though both Antetokounmpo and Embiid have been in the league for almost a decade now, and have guided their teams to higher seeds in the playoffs, they’ve never matched up before in the postseason, but that could very well change this year.

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