Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
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The Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks finished the regular season as the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. With a bevy of star players ranging from MVP Allen Iverson
and All-Star Dikembe Mutombo
on the Philadelphia side, and the three-headed scoring machine better known as Ray Allen
, Sam Cassell
and Glenn Robinson
suiting up for Milwaukee, the series promises to be an exciting one.
These two teams split the regular season series, with each team wining one game at home and one on the road. With an assist from IBM's data-mining program Advanced Scout, let's take a closer look at the regular season matchups between these two teams.
Mar. 26, 2001: Bucks at 76ers: 76ers won 90-78
Mar. 17, 2001: 76ers at Bucks: Bucks won 87-78
Feb. 26, 2001: Bucks at 76ers: Bucks won 98-91
Feb. 13, 2001: 76ers at Bucks: 76ers won 107-104
Tim Thomas Provides Lift at Power Forward
In the regular season matchups, the Bucks were able to outscore and outplay the 76ers when former Sixer Tim Thomas
played the power forward position. However when Thomas was replaced by Jason Caffey
at power forward, it was the Sixers that took control of the game. The Bucks play also suffered when Thomas was switched from power forward to small forward.
With Caffey at power forward, the Bucks were outscored 47-89 (-42). They shot 31 percent (20-of-65) from the floor, and let the Sixers shoot 54 percent (37-of-69). The Bucks were also dominated on the boards, grabbing 16 percent (7-of-45) offensive rebounds and 66 percent (21-of-32) defensive rebounds.
In contrast to this, when Thomas was at power forward, the Bucks outscored the 76ers by 169-123 (+46) margin. It's likely that a reason for this point differential was the Bucks shooting performance. They shot 58 percent (65-of-112) from the floor, compared to the 76ers' 42 percent (45-of-108). Thomas' own performance also improved, shooting 71 percent (15-of-21). Much of the Bucks' success came when Tyrone Hill
of the Sixers played the opposing power forward position. With Hill in the game, the Bucks outscored the 76ers 73-46 (+27), and the Bucks shot 60 percent (30-of-50).
When Thomas was moved to small forward, the Sixers fared better. The Bucks were outscored 38-58 (-20) and shot a relatively poor 32 percent (14-of-44). Thomas's performance also suffered, shooting 27 percent (4-of-15) from the floor.
Eric Snow leads the Sixers Offense
The Sixers played extremely well with Eric Snow
at point guard. With Snow leading the offense, Philadelphia outscored the Bucks 264-228 (+36). It didn't seem to matter who the Bucks played at point guard against Snow. When Cassell and Snow were point guards, the Sixers outscored the Bucks 155-137 (+18). With Lindsey Hunter
and Snow matched at the point, the Sixers again outscored the Bucks 73-57 (+16).
The Sixers did not fare as well when Iverson saw limited action at the point guard spot. In this case, they were outscored by the Bucks 76-85 (-9). However, with Iverson at shooting guard, the Sixers outscored the Bucks 180-165 (+15), despite shooting 41 percent (62-of-152), compared to the Bucks shooting 46 percent (67-of-147).