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The Bulls came into the Wach tonight as a possible trap game for the Sixers who were coming off an emotional win at Boston on Monday. The Sixers took a 3-0 lead 39 seconds into the game on an Andre Iguodala three-pointer and never looked back on their way to a 121-99 win. It was a wire-to-wire win in which the Sixers hardly had to break a sweat.

We did our first Sixers live blog during the game, and plenty of time was spent lamenting the minutes Willie Green saw. I took a look at the box score after the game and here's the first of two fun with stats examples from the game. The Sixers shot an amazing 54.3% from the floor and 44% from three, while only turning the ball over 10 times. Here's the fun part. What would those numbers look like if we subtract Willie Green's horrid night (4/14 FG, 0/5 3pt, 4 turnovers)? Well, the shooting percentage goes all the way up to 60%, the three-point percentage goes up to 55% and the assist to turnover ratio goes up to 5.7 (34 assists, 6 turnovers).

Last season I chronicled Willie's negative effect on the team every game. This year, I was pleasantly surprised for the first 4 months of the season. He'd toned down all of his negative traits and he'd become a serviceable shooting guard. I don't know what's happened over the past month or so, but the old Willie is back. He's forcing shots, turning the ball over at an alarming rate and generally bringing down the play of the entire team. It's time for Mo to sit him. Go with Thad or Carney in the starting lineup. This team deserves the best chance to win from the tip every night. Starting Willie is not giving them that.

Back to tonight's game, and our second fun with stats example. Lou Williams and Thad Young played a total 50 minutes. They hit 16 of their 24 shots and combined for 43 points. That's great production off the bench right? Here's the fun part, the Bulls starting lineup of Kirk Hinrich, Larry Hughes, Joakim Noah, Drew Gooden and Luol Deng hit 12 of their 38 shots and combined for 39 points. You read that correctly. Lou and Thad outscored the Bulls entire starting lineup.

Andre Miller turned in a masterful game at the point, finishing 1 point and 2 rebounds shy of a triple-double and amassing an amazing 18 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. Iguodala started the game 6/6 from the field for 17 points then went cold. Still his 21 points on 8/15 shooting with 9 assists, 4 boards and 4 steals was nothing to sneeze at. Rodney Carney drained 4 threes off the bench in 16 minutes.

It was a great game to watch and I'd like to thank all the guys who took part in the live blog. This game looked like a playoff team playing a lottery team, which is exactly what it was. The Sixers belong.

Player of The Game: Andre Miller
Team Record: 37-35
Playoff Race: Washington and Toronto won, Cleveland lost. The Sixers remain .5 games out of the #5 seed and .5 games ahead of Toronto. They move to within 3 games of Cleveland for the #4 seed.

Tomorrow is an off day, then the Sixers play host to the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
by Brian on Mar 27 2008
Tags: Andre Miller | Basketball | Bulls | Playoffs | Sixers |