Sunday, February 1, 2015

Go Mode

Here's Thaddeus Young's Tweet from earlier today: "Go mode ... Bulls ... Chitown ... Need this one enough said."

Go Mode

Lou guarding Rose on the first possession of tonight´s game.
Lou guarding Rose on the first possession of tonight's game.

Here's Thaddeus Young's Tweet from earlier today: "Go mode ... Bulls ... Chitown ... Need this one enough said."

So the 76ers are obviously in Chicago tonight, playing the Bulls in a game that tips off in about 20 minutes. After last night's really bad loss to the Utah Jazz -- the worst loss of the season because the other blowout losses were to teams with winning records -- the Sixers need to at least show some toughness and fight tonight against a very scrappy, tough Chicago Bulls team. Right off the bat, you gotta worry about Chicago point guard Derrick Rose being a problem for the Sixers. Rose is really good off the pick-and-roll and the Sixers are really bad defending the pick-and-roll.

It's hard to see, after watching last night's game, how the Sixers are going to pull out a win tonight at the United Center. The Bulls are 4-4, yes, but they seem to have the weapons -- scrappiness inside with Noah, speed on the perimeter, and the ability to hit outside shots -- that give the Sixers fits. So far this season, the Bulls really haven't shot the ball well from the outside: 25.3 percent. That's a frightening statistic since the Bulls have John Salmons, usually a good outside shooter. Salmons is shooting 26.2 percent. And guard Kirk Hinrich is shooting 22.2 percent. That could be a problem for the Sixers, who have a habit of allowing teams their breakout game from the perimeter.

Here's three keys: 

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1.) Lou Williams on Rose. Williams did not play well against the Jazz. He's had a habit lately of getting stuck in the air without any idea where he's going to pass the ball. He took really good care of the ball through the first four games. He's going to need to get back to that as well as stay in front of Rose. He must keep Rose to around 10-12 points, but it seems plausible that Rose could end tonight with 22 points, 9 assists.

2.) Outside shooting. The Bulls are struggling. The Sixers have to keep them struggling. If Chicago makes more than 6 three-pointers (they've made only 25 through 8 games), the Sixers won't be able to win.

3.) Samuel Dalembert. I'm calling a big game tonight for Dalembert. Why? Because he's due for a big game, isn't he? If he can have a big game on the boards -- more than 12 -- and stay on the court for more than 30 minutes, then maybe he can counteract the effect of Joakim Noah, who could likely exploit the Sixers tonight.

Check out the videos in the Deep Sixer player below on the right. There's one of Lou Williams watching the Ohio St/Iowa game about 90 minutes before tip off. And there is another of Marreese Speights signing autographs after doing some pre-game shooting. Speights actually gave his white, dri-fit t-shirt to one of the kids in the stands and then signed about 25 autographs. Watch him at the end of the minute video ... this kid asks him to sign the back of his Derrick Rose. Speights hesitates and then sort of shrugs his shoulders and signs the jersey. If you want more immediate updates, follow on Twitter, click here: Deep Sixer.



About this blog

Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004 and took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering Temple basketball and football for the previous three years.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
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