Sixers-Bucks: What you need to know


Sixers-Bucks: What you need to know

Sixers vs. Bucks -- 8 p.m., CSN
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee

Last meeting
The Bucks have taken the first two meetings with the Sixers and if they win a third, they take the season series. If the Sixers and Bucks are tied at the end of the season, head-to-head matchups are the first tiebreaker.

On Jan. 22, Ersan Ilyasova scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a 110-102 victory. The Sixers battled back from an early 10-point deficit thanks to 23 points from Evan Turner, 21 from Spencer Hawes and 20 from Nick Young.

The Sixers go into the game trailing the Bucks by three games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“It’s really a two-game swing either way,” Hawes said. “We have to realize that and can’t be looking forward to the [All-Star] break.”

Sixers: 22-28 (fourth place in Atlantic Division; ninth place in the Eastern Conference)

Bucks: 25-25 (third place in Central Division; eighth place in the Eastern Conference)

Previous games
The Sixers wrapped up a 5-3 homestand by getting drubbed by the Los Angeles Clippers, 107-90, Monday night. The Sixers trailed by as many as 32 points in the fourth quarter and were victims to a bevy of highlight-reel dunks from Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

“It was the most impressive performance against us I’ve seen all year,” Sixers head coach Doug Collins said.

The Bucks missed a chance to gain ground in the standings by losing to Washington, 102-90, on Monday night. Monta Ellis scored 24 points with eight assists and seven rebounds, but his backcourt mate Brandon Jennings shot just 3 for 17.

Who's hot
Nick Young scored 29 points on 10-for-18 shooting with four three-pointers in the loss to the Clippers. Over his last 10 games, Young is averaging 16.1 points and 1.6 steals per game. Interestingly, Young’s 10-game averages and 29-point game came on the heels of a pair of games in which the guard shot 6 for 21, including 0 for 7 from three-point range.

Headed into his third game of his first 10-day contract, newcomer Jeremy Pargo has proved a spark off the bench while dropping in 22 points on 8-for-22 shooting. Pargo also got to the foul line seven times in the last two games, which is more than starters Lavoy Allen, Turner, Jrue Holiday and Hawes … combined.

In his last four games, ex-Sixer Sam Dalembert has three double-doubles with 42 rebounds and 65 points. Thirty-five of those points came in the Feb. 5 loss to Denver.

The more you know …
A game after pulling down a career-high 22 rebounds on Saturday night, Allen did not get his first rebound until the waning moments of the third quarter of Monday’s loss to the Clippers. Allen finished the game with two rebounds and narrowly missed becoming the first player in NBA history to get 20-plus rebounds in one game and zero in the next. … Turner is one of six players in the NBA averaging 13 points, six rebounds and four assists per game. The others? LeBron James, Joakim Noah, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce and Nicolas Batum. … Turner has not made a three-pointer in his last seven games. He’s 0 for 7 over that stretch. … In the last four games, Holiday is shooting just 36.5 percent. … Young has 43 turnovers in 45 games this season. … Holiday and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook are the only players in the NBA averaging 18-plus points and 8-plus assists per game. The only Sixer to finish a season averaging 18-plus points and 8-plus assists is Wilt Chamberlain (1967-68).

Probable starters
Sixers (last 10 games)
Jrue Holiday (18.1 ppg, 8.3 apg )
Nick Young (16.1 ppg, 1.2 spg)
Spencer Hawes (12 ppg, 8.2 rpg)
Lavoy Allen (6.7 ppg, 7 rpg)
Evan Turner (13.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg)

Bucks (last 10 games)
Monta Ellis (16.1 ppg, 5.4 apg)
Brandon Jennings (17.5 ppg, 7.2 apg)
Sam Dalembert (11.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg)
Ersan Ilyasova (16.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
Mike Dunleavy (10.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

Andrew Bynum (bone bruises) is out indefinitely.

Jason Richardson (knee) is out for the season.

Thad Young (hamstring) is out for two more weeks.

For the Bucks, Larry Sanders (hip/back) missed Monday’s game and is doubtful for Wednesday.

Luc Mbah a Moute (leg) left Monday’s game after 14 minutes of action.

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

MIAMI — A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcourt, and opening her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

The singer was identified by the Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear if she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.

Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.

"We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports -- and many levels, from youth all the way to professional -- have followed his lead in various ways.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in New York earlier Friday, at a news conference following the league's board of governors meetings. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."