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NBA Playoffs: 76ers take home-court advantage from Rose-less Bulls

May 1, 2012, 10:47 PM EDT

Andre Iguodala, Louis Williams

It’s been a very tough 49:09 of basketball for the Chicago Bulls, who finished the regular season with the Eastern Conference’s best record. At the end of Game 1, which the Bulls were winning comfortably, Derrick Rose awkwardly landed after a jump-stop and blew out his ACL, which ended Rose’s season and probably effectively ended the Bulls’ title hopes.

The Bulls, who are more than capable of beating the 76ers without Rose, did their best to come out tough in Game 2, and led 55-47 after the 1st half. However, the 76ers responded by thrashing the Bulls with a 36-14 3rd quarter, and Chicago was never able to recover. Lou Williams and Jrue Holliday, who both struggled in Game 1, absolutely torched Chicago in Game 2, combining to score 46 points on a combined 19-28 shooting from the field, and Evan Turner added 19 points of his own for Philadelphia.

The Bulls certainly didn’t have a bad game offensively, as Joakim Noah (21 points on 10-11 shooting from the field) led their offense to 92 points on 45.2% shooting from the field, which isn’t a bad showing against a top-5 defense like Philadelphia’s, but Tom Thibodeau’s top-ranked defense had few answers for the 76ers, which is odd because Rose is a much more integral part of Chicago’s offensive game plan than he is of their defensive one.

More than anything, Game 2 suggested that losing Rose (and the title hopes that go along with him) may have taken some of the wind out of Chicago’s sails, which is completely understandable. The Bulls have always played each game like it’s their last, with or without Rose, so I’d expect this to be an extremely competitive series that the Bulls still have a great chance of winning, but it looks like the psychological effects of losing a superstar in the first game of the playoffs may be taking their toll on the Bulls sooner rather than later.

  1. bleed4philly - May 1, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    So you’re telling me there’s a chance…

  2. redbullenergydrink - May 1, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Does anyone still want to make the argument that the Bulls are fine without Rose?……

    • cosanostra71 - May 1, 2012 at 11:21 PM

      I wouldn’t say they are “just fine” but I still think they are talented enough to be able to win this series.

      • cosanostra71 - May 1, 2012 at 11:23 PM

        And I don’t mean that in an absolute way. As they showed tonight, the Rose injury makes the series a lot more competitive for the Sixers. But I do think Bulls can still win it.

    • gmsingh - May 2, 2012 at 7:20 AM

      Yeah–it took them over a year to lose two games in a row in the regular season. Got a rebuttal for that, buddy?

  3. koloofai - May 1, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Your dreaming buddy

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 1, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Sixers scare me more. Sorry

    • southbeachtalent - May 2, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      Than the Bulls? I would have to disagree.

      Bulls are much scarier, especially for the Heat.

      Even though I am rooting for the sixers here, it sucks to see D. Rose watching and not playing.

      If the Bulls continue to turn the ball over and Boozer continues to suck (likely) they will be in for a battle. The sixers are young and athletic, their fast break points killed the Bulls. That being said, I say the sixers in 7.

  5. mungman69 - May 2, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    The Sixers can win this series. They did have a wining record during the season. Doesn’t matter since no one will beat the Heat

  6. asublimeday - May 2, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    The Sixers can win this series. They did have a wining record during the season. Doesn’t matter since no one will beat the Heat
    ———-
    He said last season. And he says this season, and he’ll say every season until lebron’s gnarled, ringless hands reach for the sweet release of retirement.

    • southbeachtalent - May 2, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      get help.

  7. pistolpete0903 - May 2, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    The last statement pretty much hits it on the head….the Bulls looked deflated psychologically.

  8. jssgriffi - May 2, 2012 at 6:17 AM

    Did any of you guys actually watch the game? “the bulls were deflated psychologically” they looked perfectly fine last night. The did shoot 43% from the field, they scored 92 points. Did it ever cross any of your minds that the sixers just BEAT them last night? There are always excuses when the sixers beat a good team rather then the sixers played a good game. The media are just like the refs in the nba, take care of the star athletes. Sixers just beat the bulls last night, that’s what happened.

    • pudgalvin - May 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      Yes and no. The Bulls now have no one that can get past Philly’s defenders and get the ball to the rim. The Bulls are now a team of jump shooters, and when their jumpers are clanging off the rims giving the Sixers long rebounds, philly’s getting out in transition and pounding the Bulls.

      That said, I wouldn’t expect Holiday and Turner to continue to shoot 75% from the field, and I would expect a more intense defensive effort on Friday from the Bulls.

  9. canehouse - May 2, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    That was a beatdown at the end of the third and fourth period. The Bulls showed no fight.

  10. emaimo80 - May 2, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    The Sixers can win this series. They did have a wining record during the season. Doesn’t matter since no one will beat the Heat
    ———-
    He said last season. And he says this season, and he’ll say every season until lebron’s gnarled, ringless hands reach for the sweet release of retirement.
    ———-
    Say what you want about Lebron, but just remember that the heat won a ring without him not too long ago. Now you add the MVP candidate you are referring to along with plenty more depth than they had even last year = other teams better watch out! LETS GO HEAT!

  11. gmsingh - May 2, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    I think the Bulls have had one huge disadvantage this year: they were constantly readjusting to having or not having one of the most high impact players in the NBA–DRose. Fortunately they have the best coach, and probably the best bench players too. Even Doug Collins says Thibs is Coach of the Year in his opinion. This whole thing is pretty simple: whichever team steps up will deserve to win.

  12. mungman69 - May 2, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    Winning: if Miami doesn’t win the East I will buy you all dinner. If they don’t win it all I will buy you all lunch

    • southbeachtalent - May 2, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      La Carreta?

  13. dirtybird2020 - May 2, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Ill believe it when i see it, i seen a defense crumble( which has nothing to do with rose) and a team shoot a super high percentage which is out of their norm, but they have done more than i though they would, but bulls should still take this series, i feel for rose

  14. mistercharitystripe34 - May 2, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    The Sixers guards played very well last night. Missing Rose does affect their defense, because there’s only so much John Lucas III can do against the opposing teams’ best guards. Philly played a great second half and the Bulls just couldn’t recover. The Bulls can win this series, but it will be a grind. Rose’s importance shows in times like last night’s 3rd quarter when Chicago couldn’t buy a basket.

  15. phillynac - May 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    The Bulls bench is not better than the Sixers bench, especially now that rose is hurt.

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