Sixers-Bulls Preview

Philadelphia 76ers Status Check:
Record: 37-36
Division: 7-5
Conference:22-22 
Road Record: 14-24
Last 10 Games: 4-6
Streak: Lost 2
Last game: Lost 114-111 in overtime to the Kings
PPG: 99.4 (15th)
Opponents PPG: 97.8 (13th)
Offensive Rating: 106.8 (17th)
Defensive Rating: 105.1 (9th)
Pace: 91.9 (16th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .496 (17th)
Turnover Percentage: .125 (4th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .748 (10th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .246 (23rd)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt:  .215 (25th)
Opp. eFG%: .486 (8th)
Opp. TO%: .135 (12th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .233 (16th)
Leading scorer: Elton Brand (14.8)
 
Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.
 
Philadelphia Injury Report:
Andre Iguodala: right knee tendinitis (played yesterday against Sacramento)
 
Overview:
Chicago and Philadelphia have split the season series 1-1 thus far, both teams winning at home. Tonight is the rubber match in Chicago.
 
The Bulls crushed the Sixers in the first game between the two teams, winning by 45 points. They held Philly to 76 points, and allowed only one starter to score in double digits (Andre Iguodala had 17). Thaddeus Young scored 12 off the bench, but that was it. And Young scored five of his points in the fourth quarter, which was major garbage time; the only starter for the Bulls to play in the fourth was Carlos Boozer, who played 33 seconds. Chicago dominated that game from start to finish.
 
But just as Chicago has gotten revenge all season against teams, most recently against Sacramento and Atlanta, Philadelphia got revenge on the Bulls the next time they played. Lou Williams talked about this idea before the game.
 
“No one wants to lose by 45 and then come home and get your butt kicked on your home court,” Williams said. “That’s been our focus, to go out and give them the same thing.”
 
At the Wells Fargo Center, Philly didn’t quite beat the Bulls the same way, but they got the win. The Sixers beat the Noah-less Bulls by six points. Chicago allowed Philly to shoot 56.3% from the field (Chicago shot 50.7%).
Since that game on January 7, Chicago has lost a total of seven games. Philly has lost that many just this month.
 
The Sixers are coming off a disappointing overtime loss to the Kings, made worse because they are fighting for playoff position. They are four games back of Atlanta, so they don’t have much chance to climb up a spot, but they can definitely still fall a spot. Currently they are in sixth place in the East, two games ahead of the Knicks.
 
Jrue Holiday had a big game, scoring 28 points (11-19 shooting) to go along with 9 rebounds and 7 assists. But they lost, and they lost in overtime. All the starters had to play a lot of minutes. Holiday (40), Jodie Meeks (39), Spencer Hawes (43), Andre Iguodala (44) and Elton Brand (39) all logged over three quarters of play. The Bulls had Sunday off, after their nerve-racking win over the Bucks.
 
Philly is 7-13 on the second night of back-to-backs, and have lost their last three games on no rest; to the Thunder, the Bucks and the Trailblazers. The Bulls are 25-6 when they have one day of rest.
 
Philly is having an up and down season. They were hot in the month of February, winning 9 of 12 games to get themselves into the playoff picture. They’ve gone just 7-7 in March, but, thanks to the Knicks troubles, they are still in position to finish with the sixth best record in the East (By “Knicks troubles,” I mean their trouble having any desire to play the slightest bit of defense).
 
Their problem may be their defense. During the month of February, Philly held opponents to 94.4 points per game, while scoring 102.7. In March, their defense hasn’t been the same. This month they’ve allowed 102.6 points per game, and are scoring 102.6 as well.
 
Chicago’s defense is the strongest it’s been all season (it helps to have all the pieces back). The Bulls are allowing just 86.4 points per game in March.

About the Author:
Braedan Ritter was born and raised in Pennsylvania but was swayed by gifts from his aunt to follow the Chicago sports teams. It didn’t hurt that the Bulls had a guy named Michael Jordan playing for them, and the Sixers had…Derrick Coleman. Braedan has stuck with Chicago through thick and thin, and really thin (see: Chicago Cubs). And speaking of Coleman, Braedan is currently a student at Syracuse University.

3 Responses to Sixers-Bulls Preview

  1. Inception March 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    see-saw series….sixers got their revenge last time.

    now it’s CHI’s turn.

  2. Anonymous March 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Uh oh. I smell over confidence. Hopefully the squeaker against the Griz and having to come from behind late in the fourth will temper any over confidence the Bullies are feeling. I’m sure Thibbs will remind them of that. Philly is scrappy like the Bucks but talented as well.

    Let’s go Bulls. Gotta reach 60.

  3. cliniclysick March 29, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Missed opportunity to separate ourselves from the Celts for good, not to mention getting within 2 games from #1 overall.
    But hey, Philly played hard and we still had a chance to win. Not losing any ground in the standings also helps to ease the frustration. We’ve seen this team respond well to losses all season long, they have the right mindset, so why wouldn’t they bounce back this time?
    Still, a missed opportunity…

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