The masochists’ favorite NBA matchup of the 2013-14 regular season occurred on Monday night with the two biggest (intentional) train-wrecks smoldering on the same court. The Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks met on Monday and if you love pain, tanks, sadness, and the inability to play defense, then this was the game of the night for you.
The Bucks used a strong effort from their reserves and a not-so-strong effort from the Sixers’ defense to earn a 130-110 victory over Philadelphia, just their 11th of the season. O.J. Mayo led the way for the Bucks with 25 points on 8-14 shooting from the floor and red-hot 7-9 shooting from long-range. Ersan Ilyasova also added 20 points while seven Bucks in all ended up in double-figures on the evening.
Make no mistake about it, though: Milwaukee is still terrible. However, no team is going to be able to out-stink the 76ers over the last two months of the season. Sure, Thaddeus Young, Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten all had nice offensive games against a pretty bad Bucks defense on Monday, but that doesn’t matter a bit when your 10-man rotation includes Henry Sims, Eric Maynor and Bryon Mullens while your best defense is hoping that the other team can’t hit an open shot.
This is close to the 76ers team that we’ve been expecting to see since the preseason. Carter-Williams and the Sixers surprised everyone to start the season, playing way over their heads. They regressed as we got closer to the All-Star break, but it was the Trade Deadline that sent away Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner that sent this team towards Sam Hinkie’s desired doom for this season.
Not all is lost for Philadelphia, or Milwaukee for that matter. There is always the future. However, as these two teams battle it out at the bottom of the NBA to see who can be the more catastrophic failure in the last two months of this season, the Sixers showed on Monday that they have the “upper” hand.