The Sixers were as awful as expected, but they do play a potentially entertaining brand of basketball when things are going (relatively) well for them. They run like crazy, and they shoot a lot of 3s.
Both things burned the Bulls a bit on Wednesday night, but ultimately the Bulls barely ever trailed and wound up winning comfortably. The Sixers did tie the score with 7:30 remaining behind a particular barrage of 3-pointers by Byron "BJ is my college name" Mullens and Thaddeus Young, but were then outscored by the Bulls 17-9 to close out the game. Young finished with a game-high 24 and hit 4-7 from three. Mullens was 2-3, and Tony Wroten (21% on the season) was 4-6 from deep.
The Bulls turnovers were a big factor as well, with 6 in the first seven minutes of the game and finishing with 15. Not that the Sixers wouldn't run off of Bulls missed shots as well, though it was at sporadic effectiveness given their talent level and the Bulls rim protectors.
This was a win all the same, though the bummer is that you'd hope this would be a game where the rotation would be enlarged, even to the point of Jimmer (garbage) time. Alas instead it was the Bulls Big-7. DJ Augustin had a much-needed big game, with 20 points including going 4-5 from three. Augustin played a bit extra with Kirk Hinrich battling foul trouble (and a re-appearance of his early-season shooting), and really everyone else had a solid game too. Noah had 14, 10, and 6 (and 4 blocks). Jimmy Butler had a great all-around game with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. Both Butler and Noah had 5 turnovers, as mentioned a pretty big problem in this game. But Dunleavy, Boozer, and Taj also were in double-figures, with 10 of Taj's 19 coming in the 4th quarter.
The Sixers gambled going with shooting in their frontline while getting creamed on the offensive glass (Bulls had over 32% of their offensive rebounds), and while it got them close they ultimately lost. Here's hoping their tanking gamble backfires too.