[Thanks to jrobulls for today's game preview. The BaB injury report (i.e., guess) is Rose is out and Noah is in. -yfbb]
It's Friday night. So what do you do? Probably not watch the 76ers, except that is who the Chicago Bulls are playing tonight. The Philadelphia 76ers come into this game with an 0-5 record, losing to the fomerly-winless Magic 91-89. Their record is somehow still tied for the worst record (Hello, Lakers). The Bulls, after winning on Wednesday, look to end their mini road trip with a win.
The first regular question seems to be "Who will play?" According to K.C. Johnson's article this morning, Rose is out and Noah is in. That could well change before tipoff, so personally, flipping a coin might be as accurate. Also, what is with this bad rebounding? I'm not sure, but you can find out more here.
Now we move on to the Philadelphia 76ers. Yes, they are a bad, but in my opinion, not nearly as bad as they were last year. Playing without rookie-of-the-year Michael Carter-Williams has not helped (though he's looking to return November 13th against the Mavericks), but has given Tony Wroten time to develop. Let's take a look at who is on the Philadelphia, because in all seriousness, I'm not sure.
Nerlens Noel sprained his ankle (which sounds all too familiar) on Wednesday, and is out. Noel did not play at all last year, recovering from surgery from an ACL tear suffered in college, but was in the starting lineup in all games this year. It's hard to make a judgment on Noel after only 5 games, but I think it's safe to say he will be around for a while if he keeps healthy.
Joel Embiid, the 3rd pick of this year's draft out of Kansas, had surgery on his foot during the collegiate season, forcing him to miss the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments. His timetable to return is up in the air, but he will probably follow Noel's path and take the year off.
With two starters out, projecting the lineup can be a bit difficult, but the Bulls do that all the time. So here is my projected lineup for the 76ers:
G - Tony Wroten - The 3rd year guard has stepped right in to take Carter-Williams spot, averaging 20.8 points, 7 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.4 steals. He showed that he could be a good player last year, but now he's playing himself into a starting spot, and I wouldn't be surprised if the 76ers moved Wroten to SG when Carter-Williams comes back.
G- Hollis Thompson - In his 2nd year Thompson has found his way into the starting lineup, averaging 8.6 points and 3.8 rebounds. He started 41 games last year and has started all 5 this year. However, he might find himself coming off the bench as Carter-Williams returns.
F - Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - In what might be the most fun name to say in the NBA, Mbah a Moute is playing on his fourth team in three years. He's not a scorer, averaging 7.3 points this year, and 6.3 for his career. However, he is a bigger player at 6'8", 230 lbs and can play some solid defense.
F - Brandon Davies - Davies has had a solid start to his 2nd year, averaging 12.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in 20 minutes while shooting 60%. He's shooting a combined 70% this month in 3 games. He has a decent jump shot, and around the rim, instead of going to a hook shot some of the times, chooses to do mini jump shots, or patiently waits and uses the glass.
C - Henry Sims - Sims has started 3 games this season, averaging 6.2 points and 5 rebounds, but averaged 11.8 points and 7 rebounds for the Sixers in 26 games last year after being traded from the Cavaliers for Spencer Hawes. Sims career high in rebounds came against the Bulls last year with 15. Hopefully the Bulls rebounding problems sort themselves out before Sims is able to improve that number.
The Sixers like to utilize their whole bench. Wroten leads the team in minutes with 33.8, but their least utilized "regular" bench player averages 14.2. Without Noel, some of the bigger guys will see more minutes.
G - K.J. McDaniels - McDaniels is the NBA version of Mr. Irrelvant, taken in the last pick of the draft. However, he has proven that he can score. Averaging 9.6 points in 22 minutes, he is 7-13 from 3 for the season. From what you can expect from guys drafted late second round, that's already a plus, even this early into the season.
G - Alexey Shved - He is a 6'6 Russian guard who was involved in the 3-team Love/Wiggins trade. Averaging 9.6 PPG, he is only shooting 28.9% from the field. His full name in Russian, according to Wikipedia, is: Алексей Викторович Швед
F- Malcolm Thomas - I wondered why his name sounded familiar. He played with the Bulls in 12-13. He played a whopping 7 games scoring a total of 12 points with the Bulls late in the season. Thomas has almost double that amount this season, scoring 22 total points on 10-14 shooting with 4.6 rebounds per game.
F - JaKarr Sampson - He may get a block at a random spot in the game. Can you get the sense I'm tired of looking up profiles?
Bulls starting 5?: Hinrich, Butler, Dunleavy, Gasol, Noah
Overall Outlook: I think you have two choices of what this game is going to be: Ugly and uglier. The Bulls are just a better team, and while the Sixers may not be as bad as last year, that's still not saying a whole lot. No Carter-Williams and Noel has all signs pointing to a Bulls win.. However, the Bulls seem to let the Sixers play closer than what seems comfortable, and even won in their first matchup last year. Let's hope that doesn't happen again.
Miscellaneous: Mbah A Moute and Embiid are both from Cameroon.
If Noah and Rose don't play, be sure to play this song. Because that's stuck in my head.