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Sixers 103, Bulls 95: Not the worst game I've seen, but that's only because I'm a Bulls fan so I see a lot of garbage


The only reason the Bulls weren't blown out early was because the Sixers were trying to match their terribleness. Then while remaining close, it took the Bulls more Sixers awfulness to allow them to tie the game. And overtime was a whole separate steamy pile.

So much for whatever could've been built on from Sunday: the Bulls offense was completely discombobulated when the Sixers aggressively attacked them on the perimeter. Basically back to their 'my turn' offense, and with Derrick Rose joining in on the miscues (he was great when he shot the ball, but was not much else tonight) the team had no chance.

Drew Gooden really really thinks Drew Gooden is good. Heck, just ask him. Not only did he think he was good on Tuesday night, but he thought he was Amare Stoudamire. Just completely on his own trying to create plays from 22-feet inwards. Ben Gordon was not letting open looks come to him, and when not forcing shots in the lane (rarely did he take an open jumper) he was part of several missed handoffs on the perimeter.

So with those two not having good nights, and Rose having an uncharacteristically sloppy game, and Luol Deng going MIA in the second half, and the Philadelphia 76ers offense in general...just all sorts of bad. There's no excuse for this team to play like that. I do not accept this as some karmic retribution for 'stealing' one in Philly. That Philly team sucked, and the Bulls decided to match them.

The one bright spot was Tyrus Thomas, who had one of his best games of the year. Was instrumental in the final comeback, was not (well...a couple times) forcing things on offense. This was the Tyrus who once earned a spot in the rotation: the type of game where if you just leave him out there, good things will happen. And perhaps most importantly, it's now been several games since he produced a complete zero (through minutes yanking and bad play alike).

Vinny did some good and bad: I liked how he had Thomas as the first big off the bench and resisted going small. Not too much Hughes at the 3, Hunter at the 2, Noc at the 4, etc. I was trying to be clever and call out Vinny's sub pattern but missed repeatedly, which I consider a good sign. I thought he was a bit too aggressive in benching Rose late due to foul trouble, but it turned out to be necessary.

But man did he stink up overtime. (it even started out bad, why have Gooden take the tip and not Tyrus?) I realize this is the typical coachy' thing to do, but it was completely daft to ride the same lineup through the entire overtime just because they're the ones who got you there. Especially since it involved Andres Nocioni on Andre Iguodala. What's the sense in that? Even with the opportunity to switch out before the final Sixer possession in regulation, Noc remained in the game. Since Rose had been replaced by Hughes in that possession, Vinny wasn't averse to the concept completely, so he must think Nocioni is still even a passable defender. He actually hit a couple shots tonight, but on defense (and defensive rebounding, my god...) Noc is near toast. And just the way he's moving in general...if he isn't hurt he's at least worn out.

And I'll say the following with several caveats first (Deng's not having a good start to the season, I mentioned his disappearance in this game's 2nd half, he's not being paid like a franchise player but definitely like a very important player): isn't it significant that Vinny sat Luol Deng for the last 4.5 minutes of regulation and the entire overtime? I know with a mismatched roster that some rotation decisions are always going to be head-scratchers (Noah starting but always on the fast-track to the doghouse, for one). But benching Luol for the worst defender on the roster (and one who's gassed) shouldn't be one. I'll be curious to see if this is made out to be a big deal.

That last rant on Vinny wasn't meant to read that significant. It's his first overtime, he stunk it up, his team made him look worse by running no real offense. The more important time of this game was the 48 minutes of crap beforehand.