03 February 2012
Same for the finally solid crowd inside the Wells Fargo Center, celebrating the twelfth victory at home (vs only two losses), second straight against a winning team, that btw happens to lead the Eastern Conference.
Ouh, I know, Bulls were playing without Rip Hamilton and Luol Deng, meaning two key starters, good to remind that, yes, we have to be fair...
But then let's add that Sixers were Hawes-less for the ninth straight game, and Vucevic was just sitting on the bench, but wasn't ready to play.
This said, let's get this straight: Sixers had a fantastic all around game, and soundly outplayed Chicago just as much as the final score would suggest.
One more time, it was a total team effort, on both ends of the floor, with Iguodala (in the pic) playing his his best game of the season to me.
It was really impressive how "relaxed" he looked from the very beginning (4/5 in the first), and his third quarter explosion was decisive to build and then extend our lead.
No wonder when Collins pulled Iguodala out with 1.55 left in the third and Sixers up sixteen (68-52) the crowd gave him a (well deserved) stading ovation. He had sent the fans nuts with a long sequence of great plays, including two terrific dunks, a three and a fancy pass to Holiday to cap a 11-1 Sixers run that gace us a fifteen point lead.
I am not so high on Iguodala as you perhaps may have noticed, but give the guy credit when credit is due. And I am not talking about the highlight plays, he always had those. It's that he carried the team and played as a true leader, and at the right time. (At least THIS time, lol).
Young and Allen should get their praises as well, Thad was the usual energy guy off the bench (7 consecutive points in the second quarter), but added some extra moves this time, like a turnaround jumper from the low post over Noah, or the two field goals that closed the game late in the fourth. (more after the break)
Lavoy Allen scored a career high 15 points on an impressive 7/10 from the floor: that included two long jumpers and along with some nice defensive rebounds, often in a crowd.
Please notice that the Bulls, a great rebounding team, known for hitting the offensive glass with aggressiveness, got only eight boards under Sixers' rim, and lost that battle 37-43. All of this with Sixers' starting center failing to get a defensive rebound in 14 minutes... talking about gang rebounding.
Jrue Holiday was extremely effective offensively, but played some great defense on Rose as well, especially in the third, when Bulls' star shot 1/5, and his team 3/16. Rose did have 15 + 7 in the first half, though.
Speaking of Rose, I'm not sure why he sat out the whole fourth quarter, with Bulls still in the game, traling by 15,16, but also twelve points (85-73, 4.55 left). Not my problem, luckily.
Williams' and mainly Turner's stat lines might tell you of a tough night for them, but they did contribute, and in many ways: I was especially pleased by Lou's six assists, while Turner rebounded well and dished out some nice passes (two to Allen in the first).
Collins went with his second unit earlier than usual and I have to say this move paid off, as Sixers quickly turned the game in the first, from 9-15 to 27-19 with Williams, Turner and Allen on the floor.
I didn't understand much the many substitutions in the fourth, with our playmakers pulled and put in and out after few plays while Chicago was trying to trap us by stretching its defense. Anyway the lead was somehow preserved and we ended up with the BIG win, so more power to Doug Collins.
Let's see if we can finish this "series" tonight vs Miami, needless to say that would be huge.