Sometimes I wonder what if the NBA season is 150+ games, perhaps running for a full year? And the rosters are pretty much the same for most of the season except for a few changes in the offseason. How much see-sawing will we see? Anyway, in this game, the Chicago Bulls are going to take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Bulls and the 76ers met just a couple of days back and in that battle, the game went to the second overtime. Ultimately, the Bulls prevailed 109:105. Joel Embiid dominated once again and put up 37 points and 16 rebounds. James Harden had just five points and shot jut 2/14. The 76ers shot below 30% from deep but it was even worse for the Bulls that made two fewer threes on a below 22 % shooting. The shooting numbers slightly favored the 76ers but not by much.
However, there were two major factors here. The Bulls made five more free throws and committed nine fewer turnovers which gave them more attempts to score. Anyway, this was one of the best wins for the Bulls that continued to struggle from deep but shored up its defense. This was the second straight game when the Bulls have defended tightly so the urgency to reach the Play-in tournament seems to be there. But the question is will this intensity be enough to make it through even the Play-in tournament and reach the first round? Overall, this has been another struggling season for the Bulls.
For the 76ers, this has been one of their best seasons in recent memory. That harden-Embiid pick n roll is a nightmare to guard and the duo has made the 76ers a contender. The 76ers have both offensive and defensive depth considering how these two are surrounded by solid players like Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and De’Anthony Melton. Will it be enough to go past stalwart squads like the Celtics, Bucks, or even Cavs? A Conference Finals run looks like on the cards.
The 76ers have been in red-hot form throughout the season and at this point, they can soak in the absence of Harden too, considering Maxey’s ability to handle the ball. For the Bulls, there has been a certain urgency and their defensive end has tightened up. However, they still commit too many grave errors on the offensive end. The latter part is why I favor Embiid and his 76ers here despite playing away from home and losing to the Bulls in the last game. I predict a scoreline of 116:109 in favor of Philly.
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