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Bulls vs. Sixers game preview and thread: massive schedule break, will Bulls take advantage?

no Joel Embiid tonight.

Philadelphia 76ers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Tonight, your Chicago Bulls catch a massive break, as they will square off against a visiting Philadelphia 76ers team missing its best player, All-NBA center Joel Embiid. Given that the Bulls have never once beaten the Sixers when Embiid is healthy, this at least will give them a fighting chance against a 23-14 Philly club that had been surging of late (8-2 in its last 10).

On Wednesday, Chicago stunned the Brooklyn Nets by ending the club’s 12-game win streak with a 121-112 victory while weathering 44 points from All-Star forward Kevin Durant. Despite a pretty darn mid 17-21 overall record, Da Bulls boast a surprising 6-1 record against the East’s top three seeds. That said, Chicago has yet to beat the conference’s fourth seed (the Cavs, ugh) or fifth seed (the Sixers) this year.

But perhaps that changes tonight, with Embiid down and Nikola Vucevic getting hot lately. The Bulls’ $20 million center scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and pulled down 13 boards in the Nets win, and could look to feast while facing off against the likes of Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell.

As usual, Chicago will hope that its Achilles’ heel, limited three-point shooting, won’t hurt its chances too badly tonight, against a Darryl Morey-constructed Sixers club that should be especially heavy on long range takes with James Harden running the show. Philadelphia is currently ranked just 16th in three-point attempts league-wide (33.2), which is still better than the Bulls’ dead-last 28.5 takes. The Sixers rank fifth, however, in accuracy beyond the arc (38.1%), against the Bulls’ tenth-rated conversion rate (36.8%).

If the game stay close late, can DeMar DeRozan cook up some late-game magic again? Will Zach LaVine recover from an underwhelming Brooklyn game? Can some role players nail some triples? Time will tell.

Injury Report:

Beyond you-know-who, the Bulls might be missing two of their best defenders, as both Alex Caruso (who left the Nets game early with a right ankle sprain) and Javonte Green (right knee soreness) are questionable for tonight.

Beyond Embiid and GLeague assignees, the rest of Philly’s injury report is clean.

Game Time:

6 p.m. CST, NBC Sports Chicago