Skip to content

Bulls vs. Sixers Game 3 likely sets tone for rest of series

May 4, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

Bulls' Gibson walks off the court as the 76ers celebrate a basket during Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference quarter-final playoff in Chicago Reuters

Does anybody really know what to expect for Game 3 between the Bulls and Sixers?

Would it surprise you to see the Bulls and their defense return to form, shut down the Sixers and scrape out an ugly, gritty win? Would it surprise you to see Lou Williams have one of those nights he can’t miss and drive the Sixers to a win? Outside of Spencer Hawes with the one-handed, high-flying ally-oop finish what would surprise you?

This much is likely — Game 3 will set the tone for the rest of this series.

Game 1 was a comfortable Bulls win capped by Derrick Rose’s crushing knee injury. Game 2 the Bulls seemed in shock, their normally stifling defense was a sieve, and the Sixers put up 109 points and won handily.

The Bulls were a strong 18-9 without Rose in the regular season, but that is different. For one, because they were playing knowing that someday Rose would come back to them, a luxury they no longer have. Also, the playoffs give teams a chance to really adjust and adapt to what a team can do, and Doug Collins is good at those adjustments.

But this is really a game about the Bulls, will they bounce back? This is a team that up until midway this season had gone 86 losses without losing two in a row. They need to grind this into a halfcourt game, not let the Sixers get points in transition (Philly was 8-12 shooting in transition in Game 2). They need to limit Jrue Holiday’s penetration, they need to be their usual force on the boards again.

Evan Turner and Holiday had huge games for the Sixers in Game 2, but both have run hot and cold all season. Holiday was getting into the lane and hit all of his three point attempts (3-3), can you expect that for a second game in a row? Even at home.

Lou Williams is the guy you can count on for consistent offense and the Sixers will need him in this game.

Do that and it could be a big Sixers win. Or, the Bulls could still grind out a win. It’s hard to say what the mental state of either team is right now.

But both know this game is huge for the rest of this series. It will be interesting.

Latest Posts
  1. Byron Scott expects Kobe Bryant to score 23-24 points per game

    Sep 30, 2014, 12:15 AM EDT

    Kobe Bryant, Tony Allen Kobe Bryant, Tony Allen

    Lakers might need Kobe’s scoring, but they shouldn’t count on that much from aging star

  2. Cleveland Cavaliers now huge draw, expensive ticket at home, on road

    Sep 29, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day Getty Images

    Road tickets to see the Cavaliers are $131.33 higher per seat than the second most expensive team, the Lakers.

  3. Trey Burke, in wake of nude-photo scandal: ‘My judgments will be much better’

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:37 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey disappointed in what he’s learned so far about photos

  4. James Harden admits he needs to be better on defense. It’s a start, I guess.

    Sep 29, 2014, 6:42 PM EDT

    Houston Rockets Media Day Getty Images

    If James Harden doesn’t play focused defense this season it’s Kevin McHale that pays the price.

  5. Carmelo Anthony says he re-signed in New York because of ‘unfinished business’ with Knicks

    Sep 29, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT

    Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony

    Anthony said it wouldn’t have felt right leaving after he forced his way to New York midway through the 2011 season.

  6. Erik Spoelstra nearly chose Grateful Dead tickets over chance to join Heat

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:52 PM EDT

    Erik Spoelstra Erik Spoelstra

    Spoelstra applied only on a bet with his German teammates

  7. Report: Kevin Durant says he wants to play in 2016 Olympics (his free agent summer)

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

    Team USA Showcase Getty Images

    KD has some words for those that questioned his motivation this summer, and they are not the words of Mr. Nice Guy.

  8. It’s official, Celtics sign Evan Turner to two-year deal

    Sep 29, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards Getty Images

    Can he fit in the Celtics’ system better than he did in Indiana?

  9. Danny Granger reveals he had another knee surgery

    Sep 29, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT

    Danny Granger Danny Granger

    Without LeBron James, how many setbacks – even small ones – can the Heat overcome?

  10. Hornets GM: It was important for franchise to act “decisively and quickly” on Jeff Taylor domestic assault arrest

    Sep 29, 2014, 1:29 PM EDT

    Mike Dunlap, Jeffery Taylor Mike Dunlap, Jeffery Taylor

    The Hornets made the right move so far, keeping Taylor away from team activities while the investigation goes forward.

  11. Hawks announce Dominique Wilkins’ statue, new role with team

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks

    Franchise great becomes Special Advisor to CEO Steve Koonin

  12. Morris twins sign four-year extensions with Suns

    Sep 29, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

    Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris

    Markieff Morris gets $32 million, Marcus Morris $20 million

  13. ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: Washington Wizards

    Sep 29, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    John Wall, Bradley Beal John Wall, Bradley Beal

    John Wall is a star. Is Bradley Beal joining him?

  14. Boris Diaw throws wine in Gregg Popovich’s face (metaphorically)

    Sep 29, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Diaw shows Spurs coach how he’s really keeping his weight down this offseason

Featured video

What players stood out at World Cup?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. R. Rondo (3619)
  2. L. James (3606)
  3. K. Bryant (3019)
  4. E. Bledsoe (2546)
  5. R. Allen (2334)
  1. D. Wade (2331)
  2. D. Williams (2243)
  3. K. Leonard (2013)
  4. D. Rose (1932)
  5. M. Smart (1864)