Chicago Bulls 96 FinalRecap | Box Score 91 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 33 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 5 AST | 14 PTS | -5

Elton Brand was a huge reason the Sixers were in this game at all.  For EB it was his third straight double-double.  While Joakim Noah had a field day grabbing boards, Brand stood tall and helped to get the Sixers extra possessions.  His jumper was precise as it was last year.  He played some of his basketball of the season.  Though, he needs to be more of a factor in the 4th quarter, as he his the most important veteran on the team.

Andre Iguodala, SF 40 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 14 PTS | -6

Had it not been for two horrid 3 point attempts in the closing moments of the game (one was an air ball early in the shot clock and down only 2 points & the other missed the rim and hit the other side of the glass), Iguodala’s efforts would have been more than satisfactory.  He had the jumper working early in the game, did an outstanding job of getting his team involved offensively and was his usual spectacular self in transition offense (though, there wasn’t too much of that).  Yet, the last Iguodala memory from this one will probably be his last 2 shot attempts.  FYI…Those two awful misses were the only two FGAs by our 2012 All-Star and the alleged leader of this team in the 4th Q of a tight game. 

Lavoy Allen, PF 13 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -5

He’s learning, sure.  But, his turnovers are becoming unacceptable to take.  He’s not providing much anything else to the Sixers (at least on this night) other than being a big body.  The least he can do is be more careful with the basketball.

Jodie Meeks, G 15 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -6

Absolutely Horrendous!  The following should sum up his night…There was a sequence in the third quarter where he missed 3 WIDE OPEN threes in one offensive possession.  He’s supposed to be a shooter.  Allen Iverson was also supposed to be a point guard.  And Stephen Jackson is available.

Jrue Holiday, PG 39 MIN | 8-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | -3

Holiday was hot in the first half.  He got involved in a bit of a mini-duel with Derrick Rose early on.  That didn’t last long. He became more of a facilitator in the second half.  It’s good to see him being more aggressive , but he’s got to start developing more penetration into his game.   That dime he dropped to Thad on the break during the 4th Q comeback was a thing of beauty.

Lou Williams, PG 27 MIN | 0-7 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 6 PTS | +5

It was a rough night for Lou.  There were no 4th quarter heroics, when his team could have used it the most.  He jacked up two horrible long jumpers in the early 4th that helped produce a 8-0 run for the Bulls.  Though, it was impressive to see him hustle defensively, dish the rock, and look to his teammates despite his woeful shooting night.

Thaddeus Young, F 28 MIN | 6-13 FG | 5-7 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | -1

Young was very quiet in the 1st half, but he woke up like a monster in the 2nd half.  His 4th quarter kept the Sixers alive as the Bulls started to pull away. He did just about everything in the 4th. He dropped huge jumpers.he finished fast break opportunities and hit big free throws.  He didn’t get much help though.  He had a good defensive night, though he and the Sixers got caught on some switches and Derrick Rose simply got the better of him at times.

Evan Turner, SG 23 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -6

Turner did not play well.  He made terrible shot selections, including a shot in the 4th quarter that helped the Bulls score on the other end and establish an 8-0 run.  That was a pivitol point in the game as the Bulls stretched their lead to double digits in the 4th.

Nikola Vucevic, C 22 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +2

Lavoy Allen could learn a thing or 2 from his fellow rookie.  Vuc had more than a solid game as he scored in various ways.  He backed down Noah at times.  He knocked down his smooth buttery jumper.  He made nice inside moves to score and he battled all night long in the trenches.  It would have been interesting to see how he would have performed in the 4th quarter but Thaddeus Young needed to be out there.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night

1.  Rose’s Thorns are Sharp:

The Sixers tried almost everything to stop Derrick Rose.  He’s a MVP for a reason though.  At times, Jrue Holiday guarded Rose.  Then there were times where Iguodala had to take him on.  In the 4th, the Sixers brought the trap on Rose.  Nothing was effective though as Rose dropped 35 points including 10 points in the 4th. When Rose wasn’t scoring, he was dishing the rock to the rest of the Bulls, including 8 dimes in the 4th.  His buckets as time expired before the half and before the end of the 3rd Q were absolutely clutch and of course he hit the dagger shot with 20 ticks left.  FYI…Rose was in it to win it last night as he played all but 6 minutes (in the 2nd Q) of the game.

2.  Taking Advantage or Lack There of :

Sixers had 18 offensive rebounds but they were not successful in getting 2nd chance points.  The greatest example of this was the previously mention sequence, when the Sixers got 2 offensive rebounds back to back but got points as Jodie Meeks could not knock down a shot with 3 open opportunities.

3.  Growing Confidence:

Despite the loss, there does seem to be a growing confidence between the Sixers and their coach, Doug Collins. In multiple situations when the Sixers started to get in trouble, Collins did not call a time out but allowed the Sixers to play through it. That’s something that never would have happened a year ago, or maybe even earlier this year.

4.  Shooting:

Jodie Meeks was not the only one who couldn’t knock down the long ball.  The Sixers were 1-11 from downtown for the game.  Many of those missess were of the very very ugly variety.  The Sixers shot well overall in the first half but only hit at a 39% clip by game’s end.  A 5-23 stretch in the 3rd did not help those stats.

5.  We were not on board with the defensive strategy Collins used last night where Holiday guarded Deng.  Guarding the taller, stronger Deng is a lot to ask of Holiday.  Deng quickly recognized the mismatch and took Jrue to the weight room for a couple buckets that helped jump start a 19-4 run by the Bulls in the 4th.

6.  At the 5:25 mark of the 4th Q, the Bulls were forced to call a TO in hopes of cooling off the Sixers who were on 10-1 run and had cut the Chicago lead to 82-78.  It worked…Noah got a tip in on their possession out of the TO;  Louis missed a jumper;  Then Watson made a 3-ball and the Chicago lead ballooned back to 87-78.

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