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Philadelphia Sixers vs Chicago Bulls: Preview and Predictions

The Philadelphia Sixers (10-6) are going on the road to go against the Chicago Bulls (7-7). Even without Derrick Rose, the Bulls are leading their division. Filling in for Derrick Rose is veteran Kirk Hinrich who once played for the Bulls a few years ago. They are receiving major contributions from Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. Deng is averaging 17.6 points per game and Noah is averaging 9.7 rebounds per game. Lets take a look at how the Sixers will match up against the Rose-less Bulls:

Starting Lineup:

Philadelphia Sixers                                 Chicago Bulls

PG: Jrue Holiday                                      PG: Kirk Hinrich

SG: Jason Richardson                           SG: Richard Hamilton

SF: Evan Turner                                       SF: Luol Deng

PF: Thaddeus Young                              PF: Carlos Boozer

C: Lavoy Allen                                          C: Joakim Noah

Keys to the Game

Offense

The Sixers have improved offensively, averaging 93.7 points per game and 21.7 assists per game. Jrue Holiday has been the only reason for this. Without him, the Sixers would be a below average team. Holiday is playing without a true all-star in Andrew Bynum. When Bynum comes back, the Sixers may be a team to lookout for. Bynum averaged 18.7 points per game last year and him and Holiday could be a deadly combination.

Chicago has played significantly well without Derrick Rose. Each player has stepped up and played a more important role. Luol Deng was an all-star last year and should make the team once again this year due to his offensive breakout this year. Nate Robinson has also filled in quite well with 11.5 points per game. The Bulls are playing well as a team, but are not producing as many wins as they would like.

Rebounding

The Sixers have struggled in rebounding throughout the season, allowing players such as Anderson Varejao to have all-star performances. Against the Bulls, they will have to deal with Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. The Sixers have a small starting lineup and they severely need Spencer Hawes and some of their guards to help rebound. If they give the Bulls too many second chance opportunities  they will lose the game.

The Bulls have Noah and Boozer who are averaging almost a combined 20 rebounds per game. Chicago is 8th in rebounds per game with 43.7. They are well-known for their rebounding and they must make sure they win the rebounding matchup against the Sixers, because if not this may get ugly.

What to Watch For:

  1. Jrue Holiday has been lighting it up as of late and you should expect nothing less tonight. He is most likely going to be guarded the 31 year old Kirk Hinrich
  2. Joakim Noah will dominate Lavoy Allen on the boards. Allen is 6’8 and is no match for 6’11 Joakim Noah. If Noah does not play well, the Sixers must capitalize and come out with the win.
  3. Evan Turner has shot relatively well lately, including a 25 point game against the Bobcats where he shot 60%.
  4. Nick Young’s been struggling but is slowly getting back into his grove. Look for him to score 15+ points and give the Sixers what they have been waiting for all season.
  5. Nate Robinson is filling in nicely and if he is guarded by someone such as, Nick Young he may have good game.

Prediction:

This game is hard to predict but I say the Sixers lose 96-90. It will be a tough hard-fought game that is decided by rebounding.

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Categories: 76ers, Beat Writing

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