Sixers-Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo shines, Sixers can't hit from deep, and other quick thoughts from a 107-95 loss

Giannis Antetokounmpo dismantles Sixers

The Greek Freak is great and he’s getting better every day. He’s a matchup problem, he creates for his teammates, he is lightning quick, dangerous in the open court, a great passer, and he can score from anywhere. The Sixers tried their best to keep him under control but Antetokounmpo couldn’t be stopped. He finished with a game-high 31 points to go with 18 rebounds, six assists, and one block.

Richaun Holmes deserves more

He cleans up for put backs, his rebounding continues to improve, he’s faster than the average center, and he is ALWAYS ready no matter how long it’s been since he’s played. Brett Brown has said that the team uses analytics to help advise who does better in certain matchups and that Amir Johnson’s defensive and veteran experience are reasons that Johnson gets the nod before Holmes. All of that is fine, but if the guy doesn’t get the chance to play, then the analytics will never favor him, and he deserves more opportunities like the one he had Monday in Milwaukee. Holmes finished with 13 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.

Ben Simmons off the ball

The lack of a guard who can initiate offense, pass the ball, and create shots continues to be glaringly absent for the Sixers. There was a play early in the game when Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot dished to Ben Simmons, who slashed over from the weak side and it punctuated the Sixers’ lacking backcourt. Simmons is lengthy, fast, and excellent at cutting when he doesn’t have the ball, but the opportunities for him to do so come few and far between. The wait for Markelle Fultz to return continues.

Ben Simmons needs to push a little more

I think it’s worth noting that I don’t expect for Ben Simmons to be able to gauge games like a veteran, and his ability to completely take over a game will come with more experience. He’s actually been showing signs of being more aggressive, but the game against the Bucks should have been his. The backcourt is depleted, Joel Embiid was resting, so he is the next guy up to be the leader. He shot the ball well, finishing 7-of-10 for 16 points. But when the Sixers couldn’t hit a three-pointer to save their lives, attacking to create contact needed to be plan-B. Simmons made just two trips to the free throw line. In addition to creating more contact, no one would have been mad if Simmons shot the ball 10 more times and was a little more selfish.

Sixers’ shooting woes

It would be an understatement to say the Sixers had a rough shooting night. They started the game 0-of-18 from three before James Young made a three-pointer late in the third quarter. Robert Covington hit the Sixers next trey in the fourth quarter, but that would be the last one the Sixers would make. They finished 2-of-26 from deep, just 7.7 percent. Tired legs, three games into a road trip, on the second night of a back-to-back — there are plenty of excuses, except that none of them really make the stat line look any better.