My original prediction for this series was Chicago Bulls in 5, maybe 6. The Bulls lost Derrick Rose, have a hobbled Joakim Noah, and now are in a 3-1 series hole. The Bulls must win Tuesday or they will be eliminated. Teams have come back from 3-1 holes before, and even recently. The Red Sox had their memorable comeback against the Yankees, and the Philadelphia Flyers had their comeback against the Boston Bruins. But when your team has lost its superstar and is now having problems producing offense, is it possible? My answer is yes, but is it likely? No. My new prediction is the Sixers win in 6.
Now I want to address the Rose injury and how it has hurt the Bulls in this series. Its clear that they miss Rose, as they have been unable to produce a consistent offense since his injury in game 1. When you lose your best offensive star, you play into the 6ers game. You no longer have a closer, and the Sixers will take advantage of that with their strong defense and fastbreak offense.
But when its all said and done injuries are part of the game. Fans need to realize that while superstars are important, so are backups. Games sometimes come down to injuries. The Bulls, a team that has dealt with a hurt Rose much of the season, should be better prepared for injuries in the post season. This team should not be losing to a slightly above average Sixers team.
But that leads me to question, are the Bulls bad or are the Sixers hot? Evan Turner has had a masterful series, along with the likes of Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams. The Sixers have finally had players rising to the occasion, which is something our fans have waited for all season long.
But looking ahead (yes, I know, that is a sin in sports) the skies have opened up a bit for the Sixers. If they finish off the Bulls, they face either the Boston Celtics or the Atlanta Hawks, both teams they have had favorable success against this season.
Now its far too early, and idiotic, to predict the Sixers will even make the NBA finals. But for a team who looked like they wouldn’t even make the playoffs, its a nice idea. To see the Sixers advance to the second round since 2003 will be a treat for many fans. Lets enjoy this Sixers playoff run.