Who: Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers
Where and When: Wells Fargo Center; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7 pm ET
Channel: NBA TV
Coming off a mediocre performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Chicago Bulls (4-3) look to bounce back against the winless Philadelphia 76ers (0-6). The 76ers season appears to be headed in an ugly direction despite the strong play of third overall selection Jahlil Okafor, who has averaged 19.7 points and has showcased excellent promise.
Despite poor rebounding numbers, Okafor has proven that he is worth the hype in the first few games of his rookie season. However, the team is really struggling. The 76ers are very slow paced and a large contributor to this problem is the 76ers are so frontcourt dominated, and lack strong guard play. Okafor and Nerlens Noel are a promising, young frontcourt duo but putting them on the floor together gives much less spacing to the 76ers offense.
The Chicago Bulls have been inconsistent to say the least so far, with brilliant wins in some games and horrific efforts in another. In their past three games, the Bulls have a great win over Western conference powerhouse the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, the Bulls also have a 25-point blowout loss in which they allowed 130 points to the Charlotte Hornets, and a home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in their most previous game in which they shot under 40 percent, shooting 1 for 18 to finish the game, and we're out-hustled throughout.
What To Watch For:
Can the 76ers finally break through?
These last few years, the 76ers have been among the worst team in the association, filled with players who would normally not play at all on other teams, poor shooting, and sloppy play. This year has not been much better. Tied in the win column with the 0-7 Brooklyn Nets for last in the Atlantic Division, the 76ers season appears already lost. Can the team finally gain a victory? Will Jahlil okafor hold his own against a strong Bulls front court? Will the offense come together? Can the 76ers slow down the hoiberg system?
Which Bulls Team Will Show Up?
Fred Hoiberg is a coach worth believing in. His offensive system is creative and his loose attitude is very player friendly. However, his team has been flip flopping in his first few games as head coach. The defense has been more sluggish than it was under Tom Thibodeau and the offensive system installed shows great promise, but has not held consistent execution just yet. Against a struggling team headed nowhere, can the Bulls dominate? Will they play with heart?
Jahlil Okafor - Pau Gasol
The new guy versus the veteran. This matchup will pair a 19-year-old rookie against 35-year-old future Hall of Famer Pau Gasol. Both show touch and skill in the paint. This should be fun.
How Will Derrick Rose Do?
Besides against OKC, Derrick Rose has not scored 20, and has been held to single digits three times. In this game, which Rose should perform, he must not settle. He needs to attack to be at his best.
Prediction : Bulls 108, 76ers 96