By Tyler Coppock
By now you know the story, Derrick Rose is gone, and the Bulls are coming off a thrashing at the hands of the 76ers. Game 3, for both teams, is a must win.
The Bulls simply cannot afford to lost tonight’s game. They need to rush out of the gates fast and makeup for their missing spark plug, Derrick Rose.
Losing to a team like the 76ers isn’t a reason to hang your head. Philadelphia plays sound defense, and has solid players like Andre Igoulada, Jrue Holliday and Lou Williams. Giving up 107 points, like the Bulls did in Game 2, is a problem.
The Bulls player perhaps their worst defensive game of the season. The playoffs are obviously no time for that type of performance. Tonight, they need to guard the paint. They need to guard the 3 point line, and, most importantly, they need to get rebounds and get the ball in transtion.
John Luccas III is no Derrick Rose. That much we know. He can’t get into the paint. He’s not going to be that go-to-guy that championship teams have. But he can shoot. He needs to shoot more.
The Bulls played last game like they were scared. At this point, there’s nothing to be scared of. D. Rose isn’t coming back. He’s gone. It’s time to move on. The Bulls need to play like the underdog. If they play with that type of edge, they’ll win in a convincing fashion.
The Sixers are playing with house money now. There’s no pressure on them. Why would there be? They’re the 8th seed playing against a team that has the NBA’s best regular season record two years running. Sure, the reigning MVP is gone, but most people still expect the Sixers to go down rather quietly.
Tonight Philadelphia is going to be playing in front of a home crowd that smells blood. They know the Bulls are bent, now they feel as though they can break them. Doug Collins is a motivator and a master of the x’s and o’s. He’ll have his team ready to play.
Tom Thibodeau can’t be out coached again. Here’s something alot of people have forgotten about ‘Thibs: He’s been generally out foxed in the playoffs. Frank Vogel, Indian’s coach was better last year. Mike Woodson of Atlanta was close. And Miami’s dead-man-walking Eric Spoeltra always seemed one step ahead of Thibodeau in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Thibs can’t have this happen again. Is he a top tier coach in the NBA? Probably. Now is the time to prove it.
Here’s the deal for tonight; first team to 90 wins. And, most likely, the team that wins tonight will go on to fight another series. Prediction, you ask? Bulls win 94-83