76ers at Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks overcame careless ball handling in their first meeting with the Philadelphia 76ers. They may not enjoy the same luxury this time around as the teams renew acquaintances Tuesday in Milwaukee. The Bucks return home following a successful road trip that saw them win three of four, including a 110-104 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. Philadelphia dropped a 90-85 decision to San Antonio on Monday for its 15th loss in the last 20 games.
The 76ers reach the halfway point of their season seven games below the .500 mark - and still waiting for the new franchise cornerstone to play his first game in a Philadelphia uniform. Center Andrew Bynum told reporters prior to Monday's defeat that he hopes to return from a knee injury just after the All-Star Break. "(I) still haven't done lateral movement, that’s going to be the biggest test," Bynum said. "Cutting is the last thing to do and I’m building up to that slowly but surely.” Philadelphia's playoff hopes will likely rest on his ability to return to All-Star form.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Fox Sports Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
ABOUT THE 76ERS (17-24): Philadelphia had the Spurs in a tough spot Monday, leading the visitors by seven with less than four minutes left. San Antonio responded with a 15-3 run to close the game, leaving the shell-shocked 76ers to mull over another tough loss. "When it comes down to the crucial time with three minutes left and up like that, those are the times we have to execute and be like the Spurs," point guard Jrue Holiday told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Despite their struggles, the 76ers remain one of the league's top teams when it comes to ball control, ranking second in turnovers at 12.5 per game. They had 16 against San Antonio, with Holiday's six leading the way.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (21-18): It may only have been one game, but Milwaukee fans were treated Saturday to a glimpse of the promise Ersan Ilyasova showed a season ago. The lanky power forward, in his seventh game since returning to the starting lineup, exploded for season highs in points (27) and rebounds (14) while making all three of his 3-point shots. It has been a difficult year for Ilyasova, who signed a five-year contract worth $40 million in the offseason. He shot less than 35 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc in November and was relegated to bench duty. He has enjoyed a resurgence of late, helping Milwaukee go 5-2 under new head coach Jim Boylan.
1. Milwaukee defeated Philadelphia 105-96 in their first meeting Nov. 12, pulling out the victory despite committing 23 turnovers.
2. Philadelphia comes into the game ranked dead last in the league in free throws attempted (12.5) and 29th in attempts (17.2).
3. Ilyasova is shooting 48.2 percent (26-for-54) from beyond the arc since Dec. 1.
PREDICTION: Bucks 103, 76ers 94.