Wednesday, May 2, 2012

76ers vs Bulls game recap from our friends

It's another gaping problem without Derrick Rose: when the Bulls offense tries to rely on diversity or ball-movement but it mostly just becomes contested jumpshooting. And then there's no bailout option on a given possession to get a higher-percentage chance. John Lucas had a great first-half stint with 11 of his 15 points but outside of that good things were hard to find on the perimeter. Luol Deng was completely locked-down by Andre Iguodala, and even his three made field goals were very difficult. The off-ball screen action to get Rip and Korver working were more easily snuffed out by a swarming Philly D.

The other new starter, Spencer Hawes, scored 2 points and grabbed 3 rebounds in nearly 18 minutes, and apparently received one heck of a lashing from Collins. It would be surprising if Hawes started in game 3, especially after Lavoy Allen scored 11 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, while playing nearly 26 minutes off the bench.

Nobody took advantage of Rose’s absence more than Sixers guard Jrue Holiday. Holiday poured in a postseason career-high 26 points and shot 11-15 on field goals. During the series, Holiday has shot the ball nearly twice as well with Rose on the bench than when he was on the court (70.6 to 37.5).

Beyond Jrue, though, we saw something from Doug Collins that has really been a rarity. He allowed the Sixers to attack mismatches, and he kept attacking them. I heard a lot about how Turner was playing the point tonight, but that's not accurate at all. He was the shooting guard, Jrue was the point, on the offensive end. But on the defensive end, Turner was checking CJ Watson. That cross-match gave the Sixers an advantage on the offensive end if they could push the ball, which they tried to do as much as possible. When Watson was stuck on Turner on the other end, the Sixers got the ball to ET and let him go to work, either getting his own shot, or using his size to get in the lane and find someone else. Later in the game, Turner took Rip Hamilton into the post, and drove on Korver. ET finished with 19 points on 15 shots, 7 boards and 6 dimes in 42 minutes. The Jrue, Turner, Iguodala trio allowed the Sixers to make this game about the perimeter players instead of the Bulls tremendous advantage on the inside, and their size on the perimeter created mismatches with regularity throughout the game. That should be sustainable.

The Bulls in Game 1 handled the 76ers with the movement and play of both Richard Hamilton and Kyle Korver, who one scout said scored almost every time in the same so called "floppy" play the Bulls ran some two dozen times. It’s where they run the baseline and curl over a downscreen with either a pass to the screening big man or shot. The 76ers shut that down with an aggressive big man trap off the screen and changing the angle to deny the pass inside.


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