Philadelphia 76ers

Bucks stars route Warriors: Is Milwaukee the favorite in the East?

Bucks stars route Warriors: Is Milwaukee the favorite in the East?

Thursday night was a shock for any NBA fan. Despite an 8-2 record, nobody expected the Bucks to win on the road against the defending champs. They didn’t just beat them, the Bucks stars wiped the court with the Warriors.

Although the champs were without Draymond Green, this is still an upset victory. Eric Bledsoe looked capable of shutting down Steph Curry at any moment, and the ‘Greek Freak’ is always an unstoppable force.

After a subpar season last year, Milwaukee is on the path the to becoming a top team in the entire NBA. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for Philly.

The Sixers are barely over .500, and each game feels completely unpredictable. Some nights the offensive is in sync and some nights Joel Embiid tries to play hero ball to capture wins. It is a mess, to say the least, especially with fans waiting on the emergence of Markelle Fultz.

The Bucks stars are consistent and know when to share the ball, while Philly seems to rely heavily on a couple players to handle the scoring load. The Eastern Conference has improved greatly since last year, and Milwaukee stands at the top of the totem pole.

Golden State had no answer for the Bucks attack Thursday night:

Things are getting little FREAKY

It is no surprise that a 6’11 small forward would have an advantage in the NBA. What is surprising is just how far Giannis Antetokounmpo has come along. This season has been his best so far, and 25.6 points per game speak for itself.

He is one of the Bucks stars, and soon to be one of the best players on the planet. Although he is yet to develop a shot outside the paint, his upside is probably higher than anyone else in the league.

This creates a huge matchup problem for Philly, especially cause Antetokounmpo is so active on both ends of the court. He is pulling down nearly 13 rebounds a game. Embiid is barely averaging 12, and he is primarily a center.

Ben Simmons will most likely be tasked with guarding the ‘Greek Freak’ on the perimeter, while Embiid will look to protect the paint against his superb finishing abilities. The Sixers will definitely have their hands full trying to stop Antetokounmpo this season.

Milwaukee is one of the top teams in the league for a reason, they have a depth that only a few teams rival. There is still time for Philly to adjust their bench and ultimately find the Bucks weakness.

The ‘Greek Freak’ has already had one of the best dunks of the season:

If Milwaukee is number one in the East, is Philly even number two?

The Bucks stars aren’t the only problem for a weary Sixer team. For what seemed like more than a decade, the Eastern Conference is actually stacked with competition.

Toronto is a force to be reckoned with, this offseason they traded for superstar Kawhi Leonard and sharpshooter Danny Green. Kawhi has been an early MVP favorite despite being out the last couple of games with an injury.

Even the role players are stepping up this season. The young players in Toronto seem a lot more comfortable than last year. Without LeBron James in the East, teams are eager to show what potential they might have in the postseason.

How could anybody forget about Boston? Last year’s Eastern Conference runner-ups, the Celtics are easily one of the best teams in the conference.

With Both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returning from injury, Boston looks fierce in every matchup. They might even have one of the best young stars in the game, in Jayson Tatum.

Their bench is just as deep as Milwaukee, and head coach Brad Stevens is always in the running for Coach of the Year.

The Bucks stars are a cause for concern in Philly. But so should Toronto and Boston. If the Sixers thought this year would be a cakewalk, they have another thing coming, and that thing might be a pair of antlers.

All stats via Basketball-reference.com
Featured Image: Keith Allison via Flickr.com

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Aric Kirsten

Currently a sports management and sociology major at the University of Arizona. Playing basketball and football has been a huge part of my life, as well as being an avid fan!

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