Bucks vs. 76ers Preview: Offenses Will Struggle With So Many Missing Pieces

Jacob McKenna breaks down Tuesday's game between the Bucks and 76ers, in which both teams will be missing tons of key pieces.

Bucks vs. 76ers Odds

Bucks Odds -6
76ers Odds +6
Over/Under 221.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via <!–BetMGM–>BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Milwaukee Bucks continue their five game road trip when they head to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia 76ers in an Eastern Conference matchup.

Philadelphia comes into this game with an overall record of 8-3 after suffering a loss to the Knicks on Monday night. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is just 4-6 on the season and has lost five of its last six games.

Injuries and COVID-19 are the two main themes in this matchup, with both sides being affected by the injury bug and virus. Furthermore, Philadelphia is on the second game of a back-to-back.

Is this the opportunity that Milwaukee has been waiting for in order to get back on track, or will we see them continue to disappoint and fall flat for the sixth time in seven games?

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Offense Been Hard to Come by For Bucks

Milwaukee will once again be without Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Donte DiVincenzo for this matchup. When those guys have been out of the lineup, scoring has been a struggle for this Bucks team.

Milwaukee is ranked 18th in Offensive Rating, scoring 105.2 points per 100 possessions, a significant decrease from their 116.5 Offensive Rating they had last season. The Bucks have now scored fewer than 100 points in four of their last five games, a stretch we have not seen from the Bucks in a long time.

The lack of scoring can be chalked up to missing three of their five usual starters and only recently getting Jrue Holiday back from injury, but the Bucks have not been shooting the ball well regardless of who is on the floor this season. This team is shooting 43.6% from the floor and 33.4% from behind the arc, both ranking in the bottom half of the league.

They still rank ninth overall in Pace, but that has not translated to points.

This is a Bucks team that has had to deal with a lot of things out their control. Either way, this offense is clearly struggling and has hit quite the rough patch.

76ers Just Fine Without Simmons, But Other Absences Loom Large

Philadelphia has been one of the best teams in the league this year. There was a lot of worry coming into the season about how they would look without Ben Simmons, put Philly quickly put those doubts to rest.

They come into this matchup at No. 1 in the NBA in Offensive Rating, scoring 114.2 points per 100 possessions. Philly has also found their touch from the floor, shooting 49.6% overall and 39.4% from 3-point land.

However, anything that Philadelphia has done up to this point should be taken with a grain of salt for this game.

Philly will be forced to play without Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Isaiah Joe in this game, all of which have played a role early on in the season. Obviously the Simmons situation has no end in sight, so it doesn’t look like he is going to suit up and come save the day.

COVID-19 has taken over the 76ers organization, and we got a glimpse of what this team would like without their star players on Monday night against the Knicks. Those absences caused the 76ers to shoot 38% from the floor, 32% from behind the arc, and they only scored 96 points against New York, all of which are significantly down from their season averages up to this point.

They kept the game tight and remained competitive, but being on the back end of a back-to-back in this game will likely only make their situation worse.

Bucks vs. 76ers Pick

Every team’s worst nightmare is currently playing out in Philadelphia, and the 76ers are going to have to relive the nightmare for the second game in a row after scoring 96 points against the Knicks on Monday.

Only having seven players available is not ideal, and will once again lead to offensive struggles. This is a 76ers team that already ranks 30th in the NBA in Pace, and their style of play will likely continue to back that trend as they find themselves shorthanded.

Milwaukee is in a slightly better situation, but they have not proven they can be relied on to score many points.

The under is 8-2 in Milwaukee’s games this season and Philadelphia has seen a similar trend, with the under 8-3 in their first 11 games. Given the personnel situations for both teams, the under is my play.

Pick: Under 221.5 (-110)