Sunday night featured an interesting matchup between the two NBA teams who are aiming to sit on the empty throne in the Eastern Conference – the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers started the game strong, finishing the first half with a nine-point lead. The Bucks did their best to overturn the outcome of the game, but the Sixers proved to be the better team in the end. With their 130-125 victory over the Bucks, the Sixers clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
One of the highlights of the game between the Bucks and the Sixers is when Giannis Antetokounmpo, who posted a game-high 52 points, together with 16 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and one block, dunked on Ben Simmons and yelled to his face that he’s “a baby, a [freaking] baby,” according to Philly. In a post-game interview, Antetokounmpo talked about his dunk on Simmons and explained why he wanted him to be his defender instead of Joel Embiid.
“It’s easy,” Antetokounmpo said. “I’d rather have Ben guard me than Joel, it’s simple. If Joel is guarding me all night, everything is so tough for you. But when someone else switches, whether it’s Jimmy [Butler] or Ben or [Mike] Scott or [Boban] Marjanovic, it’s way easier and you just try to seize the opportunity and make a play.”
Star players with big-time performances. In-game trash talk. Post-game shade.— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) March 18, 2019
Joel Embiid and the Sixers held off Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in a late-season duel with all the feel of a heated playoff slugfest. https://t.co/D65JdrpnSC
Giannis Antetokoumpo may be right about his assessment of the two Sixers superstars, but Ben Simmons doesn’t seem to be concerned at all who is better between him and Joel Embiid. What Simmons cares about right now is how the new-look Sixers can accomplish their main goal in the 2018-19 NBA season. Simmons said that their recent win over the Bucks proved that the Sixers can match up against any powerhouse teams in the league.
“We’re here to compete,” said Simmons. “We can compete with the best. I think [general manager Elton Brand] has done a great job of putting us all together. Obviously, coach [Brett] Brown and the coaching staff are going a good job. It’s fun.”
Joel Embiid, who led the Sixers with 40 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and one block, shared the sentiment as Ben Simmons, saying that the Sixers made a “statement” when they defeated the Bucks on Sunday night. The Sixers’ only have 12 games left in the regular season and as of now, they are focused on improving their chemistry before the real battle begins in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Sixers’ next game will be against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night at Spectrum Center.