In the Bonus | 03.04.18 vs Bucks

by Brian Seltzer Reporter

The following notes and nuggets were taken from the 76ers’ March 4th 118-110 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Click here for a complete recap of the game, and be sure to check out our post-game pod below:

Bonus Points:

• There were several developments that didn’t go the Sixers’ way in Sunday’s second half. Turnovers, of course, were a key issue, with the Sixers committing 15 of them between the third and fourth quarters. There was also the matter of Giannis Antetokounmpo flicking the “takeover” switch, as he went for 17 points and 6 boards after intermission. Over the final 24 minutes of play, Milwaukee manufactured a considerable rebounding edge, too, to the tune of 24-13. Sometimes, though, intangibles factors can prove to be just as important as tangible ones in changing the complexion of a game, and on Sunday, that seemed to indeed be the case. The Bucks were coming off a rough week, having lost all four of their games, and had slipped into seventh place, behind the Sixers, in the Eastern Conference standings. This dynamic, and the subsequent urgency Milwaukee competed with against the Sixers, wasn’t lost on Brett Brown.

“I think that if we’re all sort of fair and reasonable, you look at this game, and they’re desperate, they lost four in a row. We needed to fight for 48 minutes, and we couldn’t. We had two runs were we got up in the first and third periods, and there’s some great basketball and great defense going on. Then, you blink, and you get hit in the mouth, and they take off. They take off with thoroughbreds, and they punished us.”

• If we had to choose one player who embodied the ferocious spirit that the Sixers competed with at the outset of Sunday’s game, our vote would go to Dario Saric. It took him less than five minutes to get to double-figures, and under 20 minutes to reach the 20-point mark. By that point, he still hadn’t missed a single shot, beginning his night with perfect shooting splits across the board - 7 for 7 from the field, 3 for 3 from 3-point territory, and 3 for 3 from the foul line. Saric’s first miss came on his eighth field goal attempt, a contested lay-up four and a half minutes into the third quarter. He then proceeded to jump right back on the saddle, a minute later sinking his fourth and final triple. 

• Ben Simmons achieved a few noteworthy milestones Sunday. Let’s go first to the facilitating front. With 15 helpers, Simmons tied his career-high from a December 7th outing against the Los Angeles Lakers, and again matched the top single-game rookie assist total in Sixers history (Allen Iverson, 4/18/1997) dating back to the 1963-1964 campaign. The Aussie is one of five NBA rookies over the last six years to produce at least 15 dimes in a game.

• With a putback dunk late in Sunday’s first quarter, Ben Simmons reached the 1,000-point mark for his career, in emphatic form, no less.

The milestone put the first-year point man in exclusive company.

• Scoring the ball was no problem for the Sixers in Sunday’s first quarter. They racked up 43 points, their second-highest first period output of the season, while shooting 76.2 percent from the field. Dario Saric (6-6 fg), JJ Redick (2-2 fg), and T.J. McConnell (1-1 fg) all posted perfect shooting lines in the first quarter, while four more players deposited at least half their attempts. The starting group was especially lights out, combining to go 14 for 17 overall.

• Ersan Ilyasova’s second stint with the Sixers is still less than a week old, but he and Joel Embiid have been clicking as if they’ve been working together all season long. The chemistry between the two was strong a year ago, and since Ilyasova re-signed last Wednesday, the duo hasn’t seemed to skip a beat. They connected on this throw-and-go sequence early in Sunday’s second quarter…

...then, later in the frame, delivered on this drive-and-dish play.

Over the three games Ilyasova has played for the Sixers, the Turkish forward has assisted on three of the 11 assisted baskets Embiid has scored. Embiid, meanwhile, has assisted on two of the seven assisted baskets Ilyasova has scored.

• You have a 37.6 percent career 3-point shooter coming off a curl, and a 41.4 percent 3-point shooter leaking back out to the corner. What do you do? In this instance, which came at the end of Sunday’s first half, not much, if you’re the Milwaukee Bucks. When Marco Belinelli and JJ Redick are on the floor together, and the Sixers’ spacing and balance is right, opposing backcourts should have plenty to think about, defensively.

The play gif’d above put the Sixers over 70 points for Sunday’s first half, representing the third time this season the club hit 70 by intermission. The 72 points the Sixers scored on Milwaukee was their second-highest first-half total of the season. They dropped 74 on Golden State back on November 18th.

• Just because we wanted to gif one more play, we liked this play design that got the Sixers an easy fourth-quarter basket -- bring Joel Embiid and JJ Redick up to the elbows, where they set a double screen to spring Ben Simmons free for a powerful slam. Give the rookie that much space, and he usually takes advantage, as he does here.