Bulls-Sixers Preview

Philadelphia 76ers Status Check:
Record: 14-21
Division: 3-4
Conference: 9-14
Home Record: 9-6
Last game: Won 109-97 vs. Wizards
Last 10 Games: 4-6
PPG: 96.3 (21st)
Opponents PPG: 97.0 (10th)
Offensive Rating: 104.9 (20th)
Defensive Rating: 105.6 (13th)
Pace: 91.3 (19th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .481 (24th)
Turnover Percentage: .141 (20th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .750 (10th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .252 (18th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .228 (15th)
Opp. eFG%: .480 (8th)
Opp. TO%: .131 (20th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .260 (27th)
Leading scorer: Elton Brand (14.9 PPG)

Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.

Sixers Injury Report:
Andre Iguodala: Right Achilles Tendinitis (out for at least two weeks)
Tony Battie: Personal Issues (questionable)

Overview:
The Sixers are sub-.500. The Bulls are 12 games over .500. But this game has me worried for two reasons.

The first is because of how the Bulls lost to the Nets the other night. The bad defense, the lack of intensity, and of course Tom Thibodeau’s odd decision to bench Carlos Boozer the entire fourth quarter, which ESPNChicago’s Jon Greenberg believes was Thibs’ way of telling Boozington to play better defense. Then there’s Chicago’s overall hot-and-cold play since Joakim Noah went down with a thumb injury. Not to mention the fact that the Bulls are on the third game of a rough four-in-five-nights stretch. Things just don’t feel right, you know?

The second reason I’m worried is because of how badly the Bulls beat the Sixers in Chicago a couple weeks ago. NBA players have a lot of pride. They don’t like being humiliated. Sixers guard Lou Williams said: “They kicked us pretty good, and I am sure that will be something in the back of our minds when they come in Friday. This is a personal, competitive league. When things like that happen, it’s embarrassing.”

And don’t be deceived by Philly’s record. They’ve been playing much better since their 3-13 start. What’s more, check out their last seven losses: There were two to the Celtics (both close and one was on a last-second alley-oop from Rajon Rondo to Kevin Garnett), two to the Lakers (one close), that blowout loss to the Bulls, and losses to the Warriors and Hornets as part of the Sixers’ recent eight-game road trip. The loss in Golden State was on the second night of back-to-backs after a win in Denver and the loss in New Orleans was on the last game of the trip.

That’s why, sometimes, it’s important to look at how and when a team loses. The context is important.

What’s more, Philly has really been kicking up the D at home, where they allow only 91.9 PPG. This is worrisome because, despite the exploits of Derrick Rose and Boozer, the Bulls are a pretty average offensive team, ranking 17th in Offensive Rating (105.8).

However, Chicago does rank 2nd in Defensive Rating (99.9) and Opponents Effective Field Goal Percentage (.466). The team’s formula during this stretch of Noah-less games has been: Defense + Try To Get 20 PPG from Rose, Boozer and Deng. Unfortunately, that puts a lot of pressure on those three players to produce. Especially since the Bulls aren’t running.

I brought this up the other day, but I felt like breaking it down a little more.

Fast Break Points with Noah
11 @ OKC / LOSS
26 vs DET / WIN
27 vs POR / WIN
25 vs NYK / LOSS
8 @ BOS / LOSS
14 vs DEN / WIN
37 vs GSW / WIN
15 vs WAS / WIN
10 @ HOU / WIN
18 @ SAS / LOSS
0 @ DAL / WIN
9 @ LAL / LOSS
13 @ PHO / WIN
9 @ DEN / LOSS
20 @ SAC / WIN
13 vs ORL / LOSS
5 @ BOS / LOSS
18 vs HOU / WIN
17 vs OKC / WIN
14 @ CLE / WIN
18 vs LAL / WIN
22 vs MIN / WIN
16 vs IND / WIN
23 @ TOR / WIN

In the 24 games Noah played, the Bulls had a total of 388 fast break points for an average of 16.1 PPG. In those games, the Bulls were 16-8. They had single-digit fast break points only five times…and they lost four of those games.

Fast Break Points Without Noah
6 vs LAC / LOSS
28 vs PHI / WIN
7 @ WAS / WIN
3 @ NYK / LOSS
12 @ DET / WIN
8 vs MIL / WIN
9 vs NJN / WIN
8 vs CLE / WIN
5 @ NJN / LOSS

In the nine Noah-less games, the Bulls have a total of 86 fast break points for an average of 9.5 PPG. In those games, the Bulls were 7-3 and had single-digit fast break points seven times…including in all three losses.

As I said, the Bulls are not a terribly efficient scoring team. They really, really need to start sprinting out for some easy buckets.

10 Responses to Bulls-Sixers Preview

  1. Inception January 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    this is a dangerous road game, considering what CHI did to philly at the UC….i expect it to be a tight game, but CHI coming out on top.

  2. evanwbrown89@gmail.com'
    Evan Brown January 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Helluva game preview. Thanks again as always Matt.

  3. Josh January 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    And Lou Williams can talk, he is on a hot streak. The Bulls can’t allow him to go off for 20+ like he did the other night. Brewer needs to shut him down. They will be without Iggy, though, and Spencer Hawes is once again playing terribly. It’ll be Jrue Holiday vs. D-Rose.

  4. PTFC January 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    The Bulls had a day off. Embrassing loss to the Nets in the previous game (should be motivation to play with a lot of energy). And Phillie doesn’t have Iggy for this game. Bulls HAVE to/better win this one.

  5. admata1789@gmail.com'
    BigUpsTo#15 January 8, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    When Big-Booz goes off for 31pts and 13rbs and Rose scores 27pts and dishes out 9 dimes it’s safe to assume the Bulls won the game. However that’s why one shouldn’t make ASSumptions; for some reason it seems like some scrub (Jodie Meeks) turns into MJ for just one game of the season and it has to be against the Bulls.

    Ugh, this game was extremely frustrating to watch.

  6. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life January 8, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    This game was more than just another loss in two days, for our bulls it was a loss to another bottm feeder team which we blew out not long ago.the team even though D Rose and boozer both had big time points still is lacking needed scoring from other players , yes Noah is missed but none the less lets face it Noah is not a big time scorer which tonight just leans even more towards our bulls needing another solid scorer i though korver was the answer but on second thought he is not living up to his end on doing just that aslo his defense is almost none existant, meaing we need to make a move for a scorer ,I am in for trading whom ever of the following kover, bogans, and brewer and a pick if not two picks if needed want to try to keep the bobcats pick but if we get the right player let it go too.Something has to change some may say wait but I say first of all with the boozer benching and all change is needed now i almost feel like this team is slipping and maybe faster than i even know, tommorrow against the celts the bulls must win else change should happen within the next week you cannot compete with elite teams if you cannot score like one on a consistant basis. just sucks we lost to the Nets yes the Nets then philly back to back wowif you asked me that last week
    I would of said we can beat them even withou boozer or Noah long as Rose was playing now since it happen and only Noah was not playing that needs to be giving some heavy consideration hopefully Gar/Pax are doing just that now as your reading my post … Go get mayo he will ply both sides of the ball and he will score he has an upside to his game yet get him while the getting is good…Mello aint coming to chicago that is done and over but Mayo is a true reality get er done guys get er done now……Or else don’t want to consider the or else like bad record n all maybe even get Rose to thinking he may want to consider a change himself and if that happens well lets just say i may be done being a bulls fan period you can only drop the ball so long and remain in the game hope they don’t drop it anymore get er done now….

  7. alldoneq@gmail.com'
    J January 8, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    This was a really ugly game. The bulls have to pick up the d and keep that intensity thru the whole game.

  8. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life January 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Ny bad on my post being so long it just really gets me kinda mad knowing that we are so close to having not only a good team but a great team, no big ego’s here on the team least none have shown yet the key word being yet.We need to make some moves plain and simple..WE lost to the NeTTTTTTTTTs wtf. almost like its a dream more like a nightmare.

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  1. Game 35 Recap: Sixers 105, Bulls 99 » By The Horns - January 8, 2011

    […] I mentioned in my preview post, the Sixers entered the game ranked 20th in Offensive Rating (104.9) and 24th in Effective Field […]

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