After defeating the Orlando Magic yesterday evening, the Philadelphia 76ers are back in action tonight. This time they’re on the road, as the Chicago Bulls will be the hostile host for the Sixers. The Bulls have struggled most of the season, accumulating a record of 18-47, but have played some decent ball of late, going 5-5 in their last 10. The Sixers, on the other hand, will hope to build upon their successful season, as a win tonight would give them the same exact record as the third place Indiana Pacers.
The Sixers will be without Joel Embiid’s services for the 7th consecutive game as he nurses a sore knee. In the absence of Joel and Boban Marjanovic, Jonah Bolden will likely get the start at center. If Bolden does start, he should draw Robin Lopez on both sides of the court. Lopez was once a reliable center, but this season, whether due to wear-and-tear or a lack of interest of playing for the lowly Bulls, he seems to have lost effectiveness. Sixers fans should look for Bolden to take advantage of his athleticism and contribute productive minutes.
While Zach LaVine’s overall effectiveness is in question, the Sixers will need to contain the 5th-year guard. Over his last 12 games, LaVine is averaging 26.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game with blazing-hot three-point efficiency, connecting from deep at 44.9%. A rare Bulls win often occurs when LaVine is going out of his mind from the floor.
Normally, this contest might qualify as a trap game for Philly given that the Sixers are on a back-to-back and on the road. However, the Bulls also played yesterday evening -- a loss to the Pacers. As far as circumstances, the playing field is level. It’ll be up to the Sixers, who have a clear upper hand in the talent category, to take care of business and get closer to passing Indiana in the standings.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls
When: 8:00 pm EST
Where: United Center, Chicago IL
Watch: ESPN, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 the Fanatic