Game Preview #79: Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers

[Note by your friendly BullsBlogger, 04/09/09 12:50 PM CDT : Thanks to chgobr for today's game preview. -ed.]

How sweet it is - April 9th and we are playing a meaningful game.


We win tonight-

Philadelphia - We are 1 1/2 games behind Philadephia.  We have an outside chance to overtake Philadelphia.  Here is the kicker.  Philly plays Boston and Cleveland at home, at Cleveland and at Toronto.  Philadelphia will have the tie-breaker because they have the better conference record after the first tie-breaker, head-to-head competition is tied 2-2.  Assuming Philly loses 3 of 4 of their remaining games the Bulls would have to win all 3 remaining games to get the 6th position.  Remote but possible.  Philly falls 1 game behind Miami for the 5th seed.

Detroit - We are 1/2 game ahead of Detroit.  The key game will be Monday at Detroit.  If we win that game the only way we do not make the 7th seed is we lose to both Charlotte and Toronto at home and Detroit wins against NJ at home and Ind and Mia on the road.

Charlotte - Any Charlotte loss or Chicago win we are in.

We lose tonight-

Philadelphia - We have no chance to catch Philly.  Philly is tied with Miami for the 5th seed.

Detroit - We are 1/2 game behind Detroit.  A win Monday at Detroit and winning against Charlotte and Toronto and we are in the 7th seed.  We lose Monday and Detroit must lose there other 3 games and we have to win our other 2 games for us to get the 7th seed..

Charlotte - If Charlotte beats OK tomorrow and the Bulls on Saturday we are at risk of not making the playoffs.  Assuming the above, if Charlotte splits their last two games at NJ and Orl and we split our last two games at Det and Tor then Charlotte makes the playoffs and we go fishing.  This is a real concern.

To me tonight's game has it's main importance to insure we make the playoffs.  That last Charlotte scenario concerns me the most.  We have not played well in our last two games against NJ and the Knicks.  Hopefully being on national TV helps motivate us to play better and win this game.

Keys to Philly tonight -

The 76ers are focused on getting the 5th seed via 

They knew they had an achievable goal to shoot for - a higher seed that would steer them away from the Eastern Conference Bermuda Triangle of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.

And on Saturday, after a victory over the Detroit Pistons, the Sixers were a half-game ahead of the Miami Heat for the fifth seed in the East and a playoff matchup with the Atlanta Hawks.

Instead of stepping up to the occasion, they sank into a hole.

On Sunday, it was a pathetic trip up the Jersey Turnpike and an embarrassing 96-67 loss to the New Jersey Nets, and on Tuesday, the Sixers fell behind by 20 points before losing at Charlotte, 101-98. ........

That's unacceptable.

In our last game with Philly at the old Spectrum 3/13/2009 Thaddeus Young went off for 31 points and Iguodala had 25 in Philly's 104 - 101 win.  Thaddeus Young is out with a right ankle sprain but Willie Green has played well in his place.  Courtesy of Liberty Ballers Tuesday against Charlotte

Bill Green played the best basketball game I've ever seen him play. The Sixers came out of the locker room down 14 points and in the blink of an eye, the lead was cut to three. And It was all thanks to Bill Green. He hustled for loose balls, he hit open shots, including three threes. He played tenacious defense, he gave the team an energy boost, and he set up his teammates beautifully. What? Are we talking about the same Bill Green? Yes. Bill Green played out of his mind tonight, and was mostly responsible for the Sixers furious comeback.

All 3 games against Philly have been close.  We split a back-to-back in 11/30 and 12/2/2008.  We won in overtime at Philly 11/30 103 - 95 and lost at home 12/2 97 - 90.  The 12/2 game is remembered for Rose's 24 points and his crippling crossover on Andre Miller. Andre Miller got revenge 12/2 torching us with 28 points. 

For those having a Passover Seder - they have to sneak peaks at the score while we get out of Egypt.

Blogging with the enemy - Liberty Ballers

TV/radio: 7 p.m. Thursday; TNT, WMVP-AM 1000.

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