Joakim Noah was a late scratch before this game, and for the love of all that is holy let's hope it was indeed just a rest day, and not the kind of 'soreness' that means surgery the next day. Because this was indeed the game to rest from. I wish I had!
The Sixers are a joke, but the Bulls without Noah+Rose+Butler+Gibson isn't too far behind, with the Sixers getting the helper factors of more rest and a home game as well.
But still, man, needing overtime to beat this D(plus?)-league team still smarted a bit.
The first half featured a heavy diet of Pau Gasol (14/6 in first quarter) and a starting Nikola Mirotic (12/3/4 at the half) but also way to many forced entry passes into the post (we're the worst at it, I swear). The score was held even at the half by some high-volume three-point shooting by Philadelphia (7/21) and constant dribble penetration that was an issue for the Bulls all game.
Because, remember, Joakim Noah was out. And while the Sixers guards, like everything up and down their organization, is terrible, they are at least fairly quick. The PG tandem of Aaron Brooks and Kirk Hinrich aren't going to stop anybody, and without Noah and Taj there wasn't even much help.
But luckily they were still facing the Sixers, who came out of halftime missing their first 11 shots (and 2 FTs) to go scoreless for seven and a half minutes. The Bulls weren't playing particularly great themselves, only sporting a 9 point lead in that span, and required Dunleavy hitting a halfcourt 3 at the buzzer (look at that Sixers effort) to keep the lead at that margin entering the 4th quarter.
The Bulls got the lead to 14 before the wheels fell off. I think somewhat literally, as it just looked like a tired-ass team, or maybe one that just looked old and slow compared to the work-study program the Sixers have going on. The Sixers went on a 15-0 run to take the lead, where ten of those points were while the Bulls sported a Brooks-Hinrich backcourt tandem I thought we'd never have to see again.
Luckily Hinrich was subbed out, and Aaron Brooks took over. After his team was down, Brooks scored 3 straight layups as part of 11 points in the fourth quarter. Since he's still just Aaron Brooks, his own poor defense allowed the Sixers to take a late 3-point lead, but Brooks equalized it with a very tough 3-pointer with under a minute to go.
A Tony Snell turnover (Bulls could've held for last shot, Tony pushed the ball up and it just slipped out of his hands like he was having second thoughts about passing) gave the Sixers a chance to win, but they don't want to win! So they didn't.
The Bulls burst out to an 11-2 run in OT, led by 7 more points from Brooks as he had a season-high 31 in the game. The Sixers PG tandem of a couple guys they don't want had a combined 43 points. The bouncier Sixers did very well on the offensive glass and helped force 18 Bulls turnovers to put up seventeen more shots than the Bulls on the evening, but they only shot 34% for the game. This awful, terrible, game. Hey, Doug McDermott was 3-4 in ten minutes, including a transition three-pointer which was one of the few nice things to see. Otherwise, pretty exclusively terrible. Only thing worse would've been getting a loss too. Or finding out this Noah soreness is not insignificant.