The third quarter in yesterday's Sixer win over the Bulls in Game 2 was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, slightly behind a Ryan Cabrera concert I happened to catch while in high school. Between the Sixers getting out on the break with great ease, Evan Turner's mid-range display, Andre Iguodala's ferocious dunk, and Jrue Holiday's pure silkiness, I may never watch a basketball game ever again to have that as my last memory (a complete lie considering I have the Spurs/Jazz game on right now).
We've got another 2-day break before the next game, so let's tie ourselves over with a couple links. Remember to look further down the page for all our coverage on this playoff series where we discuss Dre's tendonitis, a ton of poll options on if you want Spencer Hawes back next year or not, and Dre finishing 7th in Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Check this out if you get the chance. Zach Lowe does the damn thing. keep an eye on how Philadelphia defends the various sets in which the Bulls have a shooter — Hamilton or Kyle Korver, usually — curl off one or two screens on one side of the floor as other player movement happens on the weak side. The Bulls don’t have the most complicated offense in the league, but they are very good at the basic things they do — running these sorts of plays, working high pick-and-rolls with Rose and spacing their two big men in ways that take advantage of their passing skills.
A few more links after the jump.
"I think we feed off each other," Holiday said. "He is a facilitator and makes plays. I make plays too. His vision is really good so if I am cutting back door or am open on a fastbreak he always sees that. One thing I learned at UCLA is playing without the ball and getting to open space."
"Jrue, during intros, was really excited," Turner recalled. "He’s a scorer so once he gets the ball and attacks he’s all good. He felt good and I just kept attacking. I figured I was just going to battle the whole time whether I missed shots or not."
Turner used all of his 6-foot-7 frame to lock up a variety of Bulls (Rip, Korver, Deng), ran the point smoothly and unselfishly (important when Lou Williams is in four-alarm fire mode), and scored 19, adding six assists and seven boards. Sometimes he can come off as gentle or soft, but Tuesday night when he put a ball-fake on Rip Hamilton that may have caused the veteran guard's name to be legally changed to R.I.P. Hamilton, we saw a little bit of lethal weapon come out in his game.
"Rookie playing like that, it’s great," veteran Elton Brand said. "He stepped up and I’m proud of him because all year he worked so hard."
"After the first game, one of the things the coaches pointed out to us was how physical their bigs were and how physical we were," Allen said. "When we get out there and they try to set a screen, hold them up and always have your body inside them—that’s one of the things the coaches stressed. I just went out there and did what I was supposed to do."
After Rose went out, the city rallied behind the team. Philadelphia surely noticed, and disrespect is fuel.
The Sixers are far from perfect, but in a short series, some of their deficiencies could be masked, and the Bulls' could be highlighted. In Game 2, the Sixers shot 59 percent, a number that won't be approached for the rest of the series. But it wasn't as if they were making everything out of sheer luck.