Skip to content

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

May 4, 2012, 2:30 PM EST

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. LeBron goes behind the back to avoid Avery Bradley on the break (VIDEO)

    Mar 4, 2015, 10:40 AM EST

    Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Nifty but necessary move by LeBron to earn the easy two points.

  2. Derek Fisher questions ‘character and integrity’ of players after Knicks lose to Kings by 38 points

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:20 AM EST

    Derek Fisher AP

    Knicks starting five combined for just 24 points, and New York trailed by as many as 44 before this one was finished.

  3. Utah’s Rudy Gobert grabs a career-high 24 rebounds in win over Grizzlies (VIDEO)

    Mar 4, 2015, 8:40 AM EST

    Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

    Jazz are 5-1 in their last six games since Gobert was inserted into the starting lineup.

  4. LeBron James moves into 21st on NBA’s all-time scoring list (VIDEO)

    Mar 4, 2015, 8:00 AM EST

    Miami Heat practice Getty Images

    James passed Ray Allen to achieve his latest milestone.

  5. Josh Smith calls Hawks fans “bandwagoners”

    Mar 4, 2015, 1:55 AM EST

    Houston Rockets v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    Hawks fans booed Smith every time he touched the ball.

  6. Josh Smith rattles in 3-pointer, taunts booing Hawks fans (video)

    Mar 3, 2015, 11:33 PM EST

    Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague

    Smith can’t stop shooting 3s, though, and you know how that ends

  7. Report: Celtics’ top free-agent target is Kevin Love, Greg Monroe No. 2

    Mar 3, 2015, 8:08 PM EST

    Kevin Love, Greg Monroe AP

    Boston reportedly also plans to try for Marc Gasol, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler

  8. Report: Mavericks, Heat in long line of teams interested in JaVale McGee

    Mar 3, 2015, 5:50 PM EST

    JaVale McGee JaVale McGee

    The list for him is much longer than just two teams. Much longer.

  9. Nuggets need to decide direction, then hire coach

    Mar 3, 2015, 5:08 PM EST

    Kenneth Faried, Brian Shaw AP

    What kind of team are they trying to build.

  10. Kyrie Irving a gametime decision for Cavaliers vs. Celtics

    Mar 3, 2015, 2:55 PM EST

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

    Irving has missed two straight games with a shoulder strain.

  11. Pacers’ David West on Nuggets firing Brian Shaw: ‘That’s bullsh-t. No grownups on the roster.’

    Mar 3, 2015, 2:10 PM EST

    Indiana Pacers v New Orleans Pelicans Getty Images

    Shaw was an assistant coach in Indiana before landing the head coaching spot in Denver.

Featured video

Is Derrick Rose the next Penny Hardaway?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. R. Westbrook (7696)
  2. K. Durant (7270)
  3. D. Rose (6711)
  4. D. Cousins (6620)
  5. A. Davis (6306)
  1. D. Howard (6265)
  2. L. James (6152)
  3. J. Harden (5947)
  4. K. Irving (5875)
  5. P. George (5709)