Bulls vs 76ers game 1 at noon on TNT/CSN

The 76ers wanted the Bulls, and now they've got them. Let's see if Evan Turner can back up his words about the 76ers competing in this series. There seems to be this thought out there that the Bulls have struggled with the 76ers despite the fact they're 4-2 against them over the past two seasons.

The 76ers do have the athleticism to help corral Rose on the perimeter, but Derrick has come back largely as a distributor, and the Bulls have been running the offense without relying on his penetration ability for the past 15-20 games anyway. I expect, Chicago to be more prepared to deal with heavy Rose trapping after playing without him for so much of the season.

Big or small?

The 76ers will play a ton of small ball. They'll need Thaddeus Young to step up and have the series of his life to remain competitive, because he'll be playing PF against Gibson/Noah. The Bulls job will be to annihilate Philly on the glass to punish them for going small while the 76ers will try to force the Bulls to play small as well.

Carlos Boozer has been on fire lately, and I look for him to have a big series when matched up with a small ball lineup or against the relatively immobile Elton Brand. I expect Chicago to dominate the glass and break the 76ers on the interior when they attempt to go small.

If the Chicago frontcourt is not up to the task, the Bulls have plenty of room to whip out their own small ball lineup and compete as well. The Bulls have a ton of wing depth and can beat the 76ers either way.

Games in the 80s?

I don't see how the 76ers will find consistent offense against the Bulls vaunted defense, and I think the Bulls will look to slow down the pace of the game and force both teams to execute in the half court. When it comes down to it, Chicago is better at executing on both ends than Philly and should have a big advantage.

Chicago should look to keep the pace slow, control turnovers, and eliminate easy buckets for the 76ers. If they make Philly work for every possession then the law of averages will play out in their favor.

How much will Rose have if the Bulls need it?

We haven't seen Rose look really explosive since coming back from the groin injury. He immediately hurt his ankle then had swelling in his foot afterwards, and has only played in games here and there afterwards. Chicago fans have to wonder what Rose will look like if they Bulls actually need him to take over a game.

Is he at 100% explosiveness? Can he create contact and draw fouls? Can he score at the hoop? Can he get the rust off of his finishing ability? There's plenty of things we haven't seen Rose do in some time, and while he doesn't need to do them all against Philly (or honest, any of them, as I think the Bulls would win even without Rose), I hope to see some signs that he's ready to go for the tougher series ahead.

Don't bench the bench mob

Thibodeau will have a tough task on his hand, as he has all season, of deciding who to play and when. He has so many options at his disposal that it will be easy to over think things and come up with poor lineup decisions. Thibodeau has resisted that urge all season long, and I expect him to go with what's working in this series as well.

I look for the bench mob to still play prominently in the Bulls plans for the series and the playoffs without much of a minute drop off at all except for Rose returning to his normal role.

Early game jynx?

The Bulls have struggled all year long in early games, but I predict they come out and take game one. Chicago needs to make its mark on the series early, and once the favorite gets an advantage it becomes very unlikely for the upset to happen.

Comments

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  • I think you make a a good point about the Bulls being more equipped to deal with Philly right now than in any recent matchups. As long as we maintain our ball movement, and stay unpredictable, our offense should be more effective this time around.

    That being said, I'm still nervous due to the early start time(s), and the fact that Rose has not looked like Rose in a while.

    Basically, tomorrow will pretty much tell the tale. If we come out and win the game, and Rose looks more like himself, I'll allow myself to start thinking about life beyond the first round. But until that happens, I'm gonna be a little on edge.

  • 76ers have the second best Points Against defensive average next to the Bulls. I think the Bulls will struggle to score in spurts as Philly can turn on the D....but not as much as Philly will go into scoring droughts.

    If we can prevent Miami from going on the break (which we did pretty well) it should be easy to do against Philly.

  • Don't worry that much about the Sixers.
    They started 20-9 on a weak schedule. They finished 15 - 22, a very crappy record. They pay poorly against good teams, they beat us without Deng.
    I'd be surprised if they win a game. Indiana last year was a better team. This year we are a better team. Rose was dead and somewhat injured last year. This time he is at least rested and coming back into health. We are the favorites through the NBA fibulas,

  • the sixers have some talent and play good defense but they don't have a dominant scorer(melo, lebron, wade etc) that the bulls should be afraid of. Its a good thing the bulls got philly instead of n.y. because the bulls match up better vs philly. the bulls are better defensively and are much better in the front court, they should dominate philly on the glass. bulls should win in 5 maybe even a sweep but crazier things have happened though so we'll see.

  • Let the show begin.

    Agree with your analysis Doug. Our Bulls have improved this year because Derrick has been out. We are legitimately 13 deep where no fan could argue against any player getting playing time.

    If I have one big wisdh for this post-season its that Thibs DOES utilize the Bulls strength and that is our depth. I really hope he has the confidence to give the bench the minutes they have earnt. The players have shown they understand that if Thibs sits them in the 4th it is because of match-ups or how they are playing in the game and without exeption all appear happy with this philosophy. The "team first, the win is all that matters" attitude is what got us the #1 seed. Lets pray Thibs continues this all the way to the Championship. There are more talented squads ahead of us but is there a better team?

  • This series will be decided by primarily two factors, the bench from both teams and can the Bulls keep Thaddeus Young from having a breakout series. He has given the Bulls problems in the past with his length and athleticism. Both benches have been very good that last two years. But I give the Bulls bench an edge with Gibson, Asik providing steller defense and rebounding. Kyle Korver has had a great end of the season stretch run. The question is when Philly goes small and he needs to break free, will he be able to still get his shot off? Bulls in five...

  • You, Jersey66, sound like one of those clowns who approved of Thibs' asinine decision to sit Joakim Noah in preference to the statue, Omer Asik, in games we lost or almost lost.
    This idiocy started last season and he continued this nonsense into this season, but I'll assure you that this fact has been drawn to the attention of Bulls management, and if he dares try this again in this post season the Bulls hope of an NBA championship will go through the window and Thibs will be looking for a job.

  • Bulls looking pretty good early. LETS GO BABY!!!

  • season's over...see you next year

  • Wow, Bulls can't catch a break with the injury bug this year. Rose may be out for the year the way he planted going up for the jump shot. Hope I'm wrong.

  • For those who think he should not have been in the game, this was a non-contact injury. When you have lower body injuries, (toe, foot, back, ankle, groin) your body compensates in a bad way in order to function. It was going to happen as we saw it develop. For an athlete it's the worst possible thing. He's been injured all year and maybe shouldn't have come back so soon to make it to the playoffs. I feel for the kid. He's a true superstar in his own right... I hope it's not serious...

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Agreed. This is in no way on the coaching. Rose has been out a long time, and needs to get minutes where he can. Yeah, it frickin' sucks, but it is what it is. Rose is probably done for the year. Hopefully the other guys can still get to the ECF and have a competitive series against the Heat. Rose should just stay out, and work on gettig right for next season.

  • He's done for the year. No way the bulls get past Boston without Rose. It would've went 6 with him playing but now it's a wrap.

  • In reply to insertclichehere:

    The Bulls can get past Boston without Rose. It's their sze that gives them the advantage in that series. Miami is where the Bulls season will end. They will be lucky to win 2 games without Rose

  • Just saw LeBron James and Dwayne Wade miss four successive free throws for Miami against the Knicks. The Heat look nervous in a game they are leading by only two points. There could be an upset here!

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Up by 34 points after three quarters, perhaps the Heat are nervous they may not win by 49?

  • In reply to RichG:

    Nice smart-ass comment after over an hour, and a change in the fortunes of both teams. Give yourself a pat on the back, genius!

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