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Bulls blown out by Sixers

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Sixers beat writer Marc Narducci on tonight's game:

There are many differences right now between the 76ers and Chicago Bulls, but the biggest has to do with the respective motors of the two teams.

The Sixers motor never stops and the Bulls don't appear to be playing with much conviction these days.

That sure was the appearance after the Sixers ran over Chicago, 121-99 on Wednesday, outscoring the Bulls, 30-2 in fastbreak points.

The Sixers most impressive trait is that they go hard virtually every night. Chicago meanwhile, which was coming off a big win on Tuesday over Atlanta, appeared lifeless.

For all the impressive traits of the Sixers, playing hard may be No. 1. Usually the first thing opposing scouts and players mention is how hard the Sixers go at it. And while it's difficult to look into an opponent's collective heart, the Bulls didn't look ready to compete.

Of course much of the blame goes to the Sixers, who came out with an aggressive style and never let up. The Sixers beat the Bulls three games to one this season and in the previous game they overcame an 18-point fourth quarter deficit to win in Chicago. This may be too simplistic, but it seems a case of the Sixers seemingly wanting it more than Chicago these last two games.

The Bulls are an example that talent doesn't always win in the NBA. The Bulls have some talented players, but the pieces seem oddly out of place. The Sixers on the other hand have been a selfless team, never caring about who scores. Against Chicago, the Sixers had 36 assists (including 18 by Andre Miller) and 12 turnovers.

The fact that the Sixers players aren't worried about who lights up the stat sheet is why their scoring is often balanced.  Against the Bulls, eight players had eight or more points and five were in double figures, including three off the bench - Lou Williams, Rodney Carney and Thaddeus Young.
The Sixers have beaten a lot of teams lately with more talent (although Chicago doesn't fall in that category).

The key is playing together and right now, it's hard to find a more cohesive bunch than the Sixers and a more dispirited group than the Bulls.

This echoes the article I linked in the game thread, saying that the Sixers are the try-hardy non-stars that the Bulls once were.

But going over that comparison (look at their respective draft places, for one) isn't the point: merely that in these fading days of the season, merely trying can get you some cheap wins. It was usually the time where the Bulls surged towards the playoffs. Now they're the ones playing out the string, not really trying unless it's their turn to chuck up a shot.

One more loss to Atlanta on Friday and even the mouthpieces of the organization can say it's over. By this point, I can't wait.