Bulls vs. Sixers game preview and thread: is a second straight upset win in the cards?

Mar 22, 2023 - 11:15 PM
NBA: <a href=Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/HC3UOfxFBP4q82nUV7X-wCy4QG4=/0x0:4781x2689/1920x1080/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/72104328/usa_today_20279565.0.jpg" />
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday night, the Play-In PatBev Bulls did the borderline-unthinkable, winning a low-scoring double-overtime rock fight, 109-105, against a Philadelphia 76ers club featuring a healthy Joel Embiid, the likely 2023 MVP, for the first time in 13 meetings.

Chicago was abetted by the fact that James Harden looked severely hungover in stumbling to a meager five points (plus 12 assists and seven rebounds) on 2-of-14 shooting in 46:37. Embiid was hardly stifled, scoring 37 points on 11-of-22 shooting and pulled down 16 rebounds. The seven-footer did foul out in the game’s second overtime, which certainly helped pave the way for probably the game-winning play, a critical Derrick Jones Jr. block of a sluggish driving Harden with seconds to spare.

The win marked the Bulls’ second double-overtime victory in the last three games. Chicago is now a respectable 8-4 since adding Marshall High School hero Patrick Beverley off the buyout market. Amazing what a difference a pro-grade point guard makes to this roster! At 34-37, the Bulls are 2.5 games clear of both the Indiana Pacers and the Washington Wizards in the race for the Eastern Conference’s 10th seed.

The Bulls are carrying a three-game win streak back into the United Center tonight for another dalliance with the 48-23 Sixers, whose own eight-game win streak was snuffed out on Monday. Harden is questionable to suit up with a sore left Achilles. This may actually be a blessing in disguise for Philly, who will probably promote the defensively-inclined De’Anthony Melton into the team’s starting lineup should Harden sit.

Chicago is a 3.5-point underdog at home tonight. Can we do the unthinkable and beat the East’s No. 3 seed for the second straight game? Why am I weirdly confident?

Injury Report:

Alex Caruso was questionable, then a couple hours ago was supposed to play, then during warmups felt discomfort and is now out. Javonte Green, who made his first 2023 appearance for Chicago after recuperating from his right knee surgery, is available again.

Update, Harden is now listed as out. As is Jalen McDaniels. PJ Tucker still questionable.

Game Time: 7 pm Central, NBC Sports Chicago

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!