76ers Wrap up Four-Game Road Trip Winless After Losing to Bucks
Over the past week, the Philadelphia 76ers have been living in an NBA nightmare. As a team that struggles tremendously when playing away from home, a four-game road trip, which contains three teams that rank higher in the standings within the Eastern Conference seemed like a tough test the Sixers needed to take -- for better or for worse.
Sixers' head coach Brett Brown described the stretch beforehand as a 'measuring stick' so they could see where they're at. The supposed easy game on the schedule was the first, which went down last Thursday when the Sixers faced the Hawks. Clearly, it wasn't that easy of a matchup since the Sixers took a loss.
Last Saturday, the Sixers then followed up against an opponent they've had lots of success against this season. Unfortunately, Philly wasn't successful this time around, forcing the second loss of the road trip. With a day off, the Sixers had an opportunity to re-group and link back up in Miami to face the Heat. That didn't go so well either.
So with three-straight losses on the road, the Sixers had to close out the trip against their toughest opponent of all -- the first-place Milwaukee Bucks. The last time the Sixers faced the Bucks was on Christmas day when the Sixers slaughtered the giants at home.
This time around was a much different story, though. Once again, the Sixers came out looking sluggish. Even after two days off, Philly didn't seem well-rested and ready to put up a tough fight. Instead, they struggled on both sides of the ball and hung around just long enough to lose and not have the game considered to be a blowout.
A 112-101 loss to the Bucks actually seems like a step in the right direction for the Sixers, who got demolished by Boston and Miami recently. That goes to show just how bad this road trip has been. Before the game, the Sixers were criticized a ton by TNT's studio analysts, rightfully so. And moments later when the game tipped-off, the Sixers turned in a performance that matched the criticism.
As a unit, the Sixers struggled a ton on offense as they only drained 37-percent of their shots from the field. Ironically, as a team that typically struggles from three-point land, the Sixers had one of their better nights in that category as they shot 42-percent from downtown. From close-range, though, it was all ugly.
The good news for the 76ers is that one -- they are finally heading home for a Friday night matchup in South Philly. And two -- help is on the way. Although the front office made a move for two new additions on Thursday morning ahead of the NBA trade deadline, Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson weren't available to play against Milwaukee.
It's unclear if they will pick up any playing time on Friday against Memphis or not, but the Sixers could surely use some new blood as they need a breath of fresh air on offense. While the Sixers haven't come any closer to figuring out their road woes, at the very least, they are still considered to be a dominant team at home and have a good chance at getting back in the winner's column on Friday night.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_