Emounted Bulls

By: Kylan Watson

The Philadelphia 76ers experienced their first back-to-back of the season. After beating the Toronto Raptors last night, Philly faced a Chicago Bulls squad that was equally desperate for a win. The Sixers were able to weather a late comeback by the Bulls, thanks to a clutch three-point shot from Joel Embiid. Which helped the Sixers to an 114-109 victory over Chicago. Their first two-game win streak of the season.

Philly jumped on Chicago from the opening tip-off, they made their first few shots of the game. Tonight, PJ Tucker was the man who hit his first four shots which helped Philly get out to a 19-point lead by half time. This was his best offensive game as a Sixer so far, he has been up and down throughout the season. Tucker was able to make the Bulls pay for daring to leave him open and he showed why Philly was willing to give a three-year contract during the offseason. Defensively he stripped the Bulls defenders when they gave him opportunities to steal the ball. That allowed Philly to get out and run and that sprung Tyrese Maxey (14-points) and Joel Embiid (25-points). They both combined for 39 of the Sixers 114-points and Embiid had his best game of the season, so far on both sides of the ball. He hit a late-game three-pointer which sealed the game for the Sixers, and he stifled a late-game lay-up by Zach Lavine to keep the Bulls off the board late in the fourth quarter. Embiid is rounding into form combined with the continued emergence of Tyrese Maxey. Has continued to prop up an offensive unit that looked better tonight, but is still rounding into form. Once it does Philly will have the most dangerous offensive unit in the league.

Chicago continued to fight throughout this game, despite being down by 19-points. They continued to fight and got back into the game, because the Sixers went through a second-half power outage. Chicago hit their shots and there was nothing Philly could do to stop their offensive barrage. The trio of DeMar DeRozan (24-points), Zach Lavine (20-points), and Nikola Vucevic (23-points) led them in their comeback effort. They combined for 67 of Chicago’s 109-points, especially in the second half. Vucevic could not be stopped; he made a concerted effort to get his rhythm back. Specifically, from the three-point line, he only made one three-pointer in the first-half. Vucevic added four more to the total in the second half and all of those threes were defensive killers for Philly. He took full advantage of his length and single-handedly brought the Bulls back and helped them regain the lead. The Sixers made a defensive adjustment late in the game as they made more of an effort to get the ball out of his and DeRozan’s hands and force somebody else to beat them. They put Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid on them, and that bothered them enough to force them into harder shots. These adjustments helped Philly pull-away late in the game.

The Sixers will now prepare for a Halloween night matchup against the Washington Wizards. This is another game that will need to increase their defensive intensity if they want to stop Bradley Beal and the rest of the Wizards shooters. Additionally, they will need to continue to use ball movement to unlock their offensive capabilities. Their best offensive possessions tonight involved ball movement and that allowed them to hit three-pointers and attack the basket. Implementing these things should lead them to their fourth win of the season.

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