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Be Ready For A Battle

I agree about needing production from the 4 position. Brand and Young definitely need to show up in game 5. Especially Young. But there is also something else that has been a huge problem for the Sixers in this series and the reason why the games are actually this close.

The Sixers have shot 3pointers at a horrendous clip - 22%. That's 14% less than their regular season numbers. Overall they are 12/54 from three point range. Had they shot their regular season percentage of 36.2% they would have made over 19 out of those 54 attempts. That's a 22 point swing overall or more than 5 points per game. That's HUGE. Even if you take Chicago's percentage at defending the three, which is 32.5%, that still accounts for 4 points per game swing.

And it's not like Chicago has made it their mission to keep them out of the three point line. For the most part they are packing the lane and are giving the sixers wide open three pointers. The Sixers just aren't making them.

Holiday has done OK shooting the three ball, but the others are shooting an unacceptable percentage. Iguodala is 2/14, Lou is 2/16, Turner is 0/3. It's a miracle they are even winning this series with this kind of outside shooting. Hitting a few long range shots will definitely help Holiday and Turner drive to the rim. The reason why they have converted on such a low percentage of inside shots is because Chicago is banking on the Sixers not being able to shoot the three.

On a side note, the Sixers are at 58.4% on shots at the rim which would be the 3st worst percentage in the league in the regular season. With so many fastbreak points that percentage is a disaster and is a direct result on the Bulls packing the lane. As a comparison, in the regular season the Sixers shot 64.8% at the rim. They need to start making some threes. If Holiday and Turner (and even Hawes) continue to play the way they have been playing in the last few games and the Sixers backcourt can make some outside shots, this team can actually do really well in these playoffs.

Lets hope they will!!!

Last time I saw Turner miss so many shots at the rim was against Milwaukee going 1 for 12 in his first start of the year. He came back against Boston, stayed aggresive, and destroyed them. I'm expecting the same tonight.

Stan reply to KellyDad on May 8 at 18:10

I hope he hits a fade away game winner at the buzzer to end the series :)

Tom Moore on May 8 at 7:52

"Mentally, no signs of the Bulls recovering; an air of inevitability looms with season on the line Tuesday" - title and subtitle of David Haugh's Chicago Tribune column submitted last night (a good read).

Charlie H reply to Dollar Bill on May 8 at 11:46

He doesn't get it. He says:

I still find no acceptable excuse for the Bulls to lose to a 76ers team that failed to shoot 40 percent in its last two wins.

The Sixers are winning because of match-ups. Holiday is better than any guard they have. They have nobody who can guard Lou, but Lou hasn't even played all that well, except in the 4th quarter of Game 2 when he kept the Bulls from chipping away at a big lead. Iguodala neutralizes Deng. Even with Noah, the Bulls don't have a big edge up front because Brand, who everybody thinks has disappeared, has played excellent defense and has kept Noah off the boards for the most part (5 O-boards for Noah in Games 2 & 3) and Hawes has made them pay for sagging into the paint. And as Brian pointed out the other day, the Bulls have to sacrifice too much offense in order to put the kind of defensive lineup Thibodeau likes on the floor. The Bulls roster is pretty ordinary without Rose. They don't have the speed to keep up with the Sixers and they don't have a lot of ways to score in the half court. Boozer will get his, but Korver is being chased off his spots, Lucas is streaky, and Watson can only score so much without giving up just as many points to Jrue or ET.

Also, Collins has outcoached Thibodeau, which is not easy to do. Haugh seems to think that Thibodeau is not rotating his players well. I don't think so, he just has very limited options.

I have a feeling Lou or Thad will step up and a have a big game tonight.

I disagree about Sixers having decisive match-up superiority.

Collins getting Hawes into open spots and having massaged his head sufficiently until 11 shots net 22 points is about coaching.

Jrue shooting 1-14 and not having his license suspended but, to the contrary, officially renewed in closing minutes is a coaching decision.

Brand, despite substandard offense, wearing hard hat and plugging lane is the result of coaching reinforcement as to role importance.

In the end, Bulls have been Q4 deficient due to physical fatigue, lack of mental steam, my opinion. Injury attrition. Thibodeau rightfully expects much from primary troops, needs to extend his substitution rotation so there's enough life left to swing score, get over hump when the time arrives. Brewer, James, Butler, "Veal" are twiddling thumbs.

For those with no interest in either Bulls or Sixers, this series has been 'must not watch' TV.

I believe this game was originally scheduled to be on TNT at 8pm, but now that Rose is out, it becomes the battle of who could care less on NBATV at 9:30 EST. Oh well.

Yeah, I don't think they officially scheduled them out past game 4s, but the Sixers definitely got the shaft w/ that time slot on NBATV.

ESPN yesterday had them listed for 8pm on TNT, but then again, ESPN has certainly listed incorrect times in the past.

What I find interesting is that in most of my reading from Chicago sources and the national media, most writers think that the Bulls -- even without Rose and Noah -- should be beating the Sixers. That is, that the Bulls are losing more because they aren't playing well than because the Sixers are actually a better team right now. Even tonight, the Bulls are favored by 5, which means they would be favored by 1 or 2 on a neutral court (some of that is the desperation factor, no doubt).

I'm interested to know what you all think: top to bottom, is the Bulls' roster without Rose and Noah still better than the Sixers' roster? I'm biased (most of us are) because I've seen one team much more than the other this year, but I just don't see it. On paper, I would rate the Sixers as definite favorites with Noah out and as tossups with a healthy Noah playing.

W/ Noah, they're very similar teams, with the Bulls strengths lying in its bigs and the Sixers in their smalls. Typically, I lean toward the bigs in that scenario, the problem for the Bulls is the Sixers smalls are really taking advantage of their mismatches on the offensive end, whereas the Chicago bigs aren't really the type to exploit mismatches. Start the series over w/out Rose but w/ Noah and I think it's probably a pretty even series, flip a coin. W/out Noah, I think the Sixers are clearly better.

I fully agree with this. With Noah (without Rose) they are fairly similar to the Sixers, but without him i think the Sixers are clearly ahead on talent level. In addition, the Sixers are a younger team and have more upside.

Sharone Wright reply to Statman on May 8 at 11:12

I attended games 3 and 4, and to me, there was no doubt that the Sixers were the better team. Even when they were down by 11 in the 4th, it seemed like it was due to terrible offensive execution by the Sixers. Game 4 was even more clear--a grind-it-out playoff win by the more talented team.

Keep in mind how bad the Sixers played the final 35+ games of the season. That team was bottom 10 in the NBA, and worse than the Rose-less Bulls by a large measure. So I think the media's initial take was accurate.

But it seems like the Sixers have somewhat recovered from that terrible stretch of basketball- now winning 7 of their last 9. Similarly, the Sixers of the first 30 games of the season were a better team than a Rose-less bulls by a large measure. So I guess the question is who are the Sixers? They are so streaky that it really depends on wheteher they are currently riding a high or a low.

My view: With Noah healthy, edge to Bulls. At present, even. Collins has outcoached Thibodeau. That Sixers have made more FTs than Bulls have attempted in Series is a sign of that.

Due to injuries, the anticipated O-rebound onslaught hasn't materialized for Bulls, lead Sixers by just 46-43 in that area.


"The moral is to the physical as three to one."

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

"The most dangerous moment comes with victory."

"How many things apparently impossible have nevertheless been performed by resolute men who had no alternative but death."

"In war there is but one favorable moment; the great art is to seize it!"

- coaching legend "Nappy" Bonaparte

thewhettingstone on May 8 at 12:44

I predict the 6ers blow the Bulls out and end this series tonight.
My hunch is a huge 3rd quarter and the Bulls will have laid down by the 4th.


Adam Aron‏ @SixersCEOAdam:

I agree RT @sammyscimeca we should also really consider doing latin night "Los Seisers" jersey they will sell like hot cakes #showyaluv

What a line from John Hollinger today:

"So basically, Chicago can't score, their go-to guys have played more like go-away guys, and they've inexplicably begun fouling like the Jerry Sloan-era Jazz against a team that normally can't find the foul line with two sherpas and a Garmin."

He suggested playing smaller (Gibson at the 5 and Deng at 4 smaller). I don't think that works though. Now you lose shotblocking at the rim for Jrue and Turner when they drive past their men. Defensively, it might hurt Thad on the ball but help his rebounding, which as a team has been good this series.

Hey guys can anyone recommend a good sports bar that will be showing the game tonight? I'm visiting New York from Australia so not too sure where to head to!

I don't know of any Sixers bars, but Wogies is a big Eagles bar, I'm sure they'll have the game on.

On a completely unrelated note, this is something i just stumbled upon. Never heard this before...


Jason reply to Xsago on May 8 at 15:50

Good reporting there, "Webster for Iggy turned down by Wolves" Then right below says deal might of included a draft pick from the wolves as well making it a different situation.

Yeah, i didn't even pay attention to the title, i assumed the Sixers were getting a pick, but it still makes you wonder...

Was it the No. 2 pick (D.Williams) + Webster?

Webster is crapola, I probably would've done it if it included D. Williams at the time. Not sure now.

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