The Milwaukee Bucks are set to enter the NBA All-Star Break as the best team in the Eastern Conference. Giannis Antetokuonmpo has been even better than he was during his MVP season in 2018-19, and that has helped the Bucks reach a new level. They have a 6.5-game lead over Toronto in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and they have won nine of their last 10 games as of Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers have lost three straight games to fall to the No. 6 seed in the East, and the Sixers want to climb out of that hole after being one of the favorites to win the conference per the NBA futures odds at the start of the season.
This game will take place at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on February 6, 2020, and the game will be broadcast on ABC.
NBA Opening Lines at BookMaker.eu
Check Back Later
Head-To-Head Results to Date
This is the second of four games between Milwaukee and Philadelphia this season. The only prior meeting occurred on Christmas Day, when the Sixers took a 27-point lead into the fourth quarter and dealt the Bucks their second-worst loss of this campaign. Joel Embiid was incredible on the holiday, going 11-21 from the floor and ending the game with 31 points and 11 rebounds. Philly sunk 21 of 44 three-point attempts in the blowout victory, showing that Milwaukee misses perimeter defender Malcolm Brogdon. Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 31 points, while Antetokuonmpo had one of his worst performances of the year, hitting just 8 of his 27 field goals.
Josh Richardson is the only player on the injury report for Philadelphia. Richardson is considered questionable to play on Thursday due to a strained hamstring that has kept him out since he injured it back on January 22.
Milwaukee has three players that are considered questionable to take part in this nationally televised game. All three players are guards, so there will be concerns about depth in the backcourt if they can’t suit up. Veteran George Hill is dealing with a hamstring issue, while Pat Connaughton and Frank Mason are nursing ankle and abdomen injuries. None of the three guards are starters, but Hill and Connaughton both play significant minutes.
Player to Watch
Antetokuonmpo is the odds-on favorite to be named MVP once again this season. He is crushing the competition in terms of PER, and he can impact a game in more ways than anyone else. The Greek Freak is hitting 55.1 percent of his field goals, and he has become a decent three-point shooter too. He is pulling down a whopping 13.1 RPG, ranking fifth in the NBA in that category, while also dishing out almost six APG. His defense has improved as he has matured, and he has single-handedly made Milwaukee a legitimate NBA title contender.
The matchup everyone will focus on is the battle in the paint between Antetokuonmpo and Embiid. Embiid won the first battle between these two seven-footers, but Antetokuonmpo is out to lead the Bucks to victory this time. Embiid has missed a third of Philly’s games this season due to injury, yet he has been dominant when he is healthy. He is averaging 23.0 PPG and 12.1 RPG, leading the Sixers in both categories.
The key for Milwaukee in this game will be perimeter defense. The Bucks can’t allow the Sixers to make it rain from three like they did on Christmas, and they will have First Team All-Defense guard Eric Bledsoe back after he missed the earlier game due to injury. Bledsoe’s return will be the difference in a Milwaukee win.
BookMaker offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker Sportsbook!