You don't have to be a statistician to pick out the differences between Game One and Two in this Sixers vs. Bulls series. You don't even have to be alive. The Bulls played significantly worse when Derrick Rose missed the second game and the Sixers played absurdly better. Some would say unsustainably better.
I'm one of them. Stay with me after the jump.
Advanced box scores from Hoopdata.
So the Sixers jumped 21.8 percentage points in effective field goal percentage between games. That's ridiculous. A few things count towards that jump, one of which is the fact that they were 1-9 on three's in game one and a much nicer 5-12 in game two. But most of it comes from hitting shots at an absurd clip. A lot of them were dunks and transition buckets but a TON were jumpers that were falling. Take a look at the shot chart from CBS.
Most of these shots were good shots. Evan Turner creating space, Jrue Holiday being on fire, Lou Williams getting Bossy... but that doesn't mean they're going to keep going in. The Sixers are, as we know, a middle of the pack jumpshooting team. And much worse the second half of the season. Much of their offensive problems in the half court revolved around getting bad shots, contested shots. That didn't necessarily happen against the Bulls, who allowed their highest FG% to an opponent in the Tom Thibodeau era. But it's still unlikely that even if the Sixers DO get those same open looks (which I don't believe they will once Chicago tweaks their D), they won't be able to hit them at the same clip. 26-53 on jumpers is absurd for this team.
Also, as Derek pointed out on Twitter, the Sixers tallied 25 fast break points despite only forcing 8 Bulls turnovers. That means getting the ball up the court after a defensive rebound and pushing it before Chicago can set up their defense. That bleeds Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner. Players responding to coaching because they understand (as Jrue said in the post-game interview - "you already know") what their strengths and weaknesses are as a team. Expect Chicago to try to curb those rebound-to-fast-break plays as often as they can.
All this is basically saying that even without Rose, the Sixers have to play near-perfect basketball to beat this Chicago team. They'll have to keep it up in Philadelphia.
Other statistical nuggets:
- Evan is 5-5 from 10-15 feet in both games. The midrange ain't dead.
- The Sixers took more shots at the rim than from 16-23 feet in both games. That's one of the few times this season that's happened two games in a row.
- The Bulls shot 10-29 from inside of 10 feet in Game Two. Rose is a terrific finisher, but there's no way they shoot that terribly from inside again.
- Turner leads the team in assist rate between both games. Lavoy Allen is the leading rebounder.
- Spencer Hawes is terrible.
- Joakim Noah has been pretty unstoppable this series. Don't be surprised if we all get Tony Battie'd.