Philadelphia 76ers: 5 Reasons the Sixers Can Shock the Bulls
After losing Game 1 103-91, the Sixers have an opportunity to learn and fix their mistakes. With this in mind, it's important they acknowledge their lack of execution at points during the game and their inability to hit key shots.
Those mistakes being said, with Derrick Rose ruled out for the rest of the postseason and other factors in Philly's favor, the Sixers still have a chance to take the series.
This is the most obvious reason here.
It's a bad thing for the NBA, Derrick Rose and all fans in general, but there's no doubt the Sixers catch a break here.
It'll be interesting to see how they play with a Rose-less team. Keep in mind the Sixers defeated the Bulls this year when Chicago didn't have Rose, 98-82.
With Rose out the Bulls are likely to start C.J Watson at point guard, which allows the Sixers to matchup even better. Jrue Holiday already played well with Rose guarding him, and he can only play better when being guarded by Watson.
Perhaps the Sixers didn't meet their typical defensive expectations—they are playing the Bulls. Also, they did a pretty good job regardless.
First off, they forced 18 turnovers which in total resulted in 19 points for them. Philadelphia also recorded 10 steals and five blocks (four of which came from Elton Brand). With lacking key big men, the Sixers fared pretty well thanks to Brand stepping up his game.
On the defensive end, they proved they can be an obstacle for Chicago. True, they didn't win, but they proved their worthiness.
If there's one thing I was reassured of in Game 1, it was Jrue's ability to orchestrate the offense. He stepped up.
Holiday recorded 17 points, six boards and two assists in game one. Although not the most dazzling stats, he was taking control of the floor, and it was a great thing to see from a young player like him.
With Rose off his hands, there's no reason he can't go over the top.
I cannot stress how valuable Brand has been for the Sixers this season, let alone this series.
Many fans are deterred right off the bat because of his contract problem, but everything he does on the court matters. Playing on the youngest team in the playoffs, Brand serves as a veteran leader.
His defensive presence in the paint against players like Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer is clearly much needed.
After he recorded 19 points and seven rebounds and four blocks last game, it can easily be argued he was their most valuable player. Plus he gives you what the stats don't show like hustle and effort every play.
With this same production throughout the series, the Sixers stand a chance.
The Sixers are a team that never stops fighting, and if they continue with this mindset, then they can come back to win this series.
They fought in the paint last game and proved themselves as a worthy opponent. Although at times they fell out of sync, when they are composed they can be scary. As long as they do what they do best and execute their shots, they have a legit chance.
With some advantages on their side, don't be surprised if the Sixers find themselves on top by the end of the series.