NBA Playoffs Preview: Chicago Bulls At Philadelphia 76ers In Game #4

2012 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game #4
#1 Chicago Bulls at #8 Philadelphia 76ers
Best of Seven Series Format 2-2-1-1-1
76ers lead series 2-1
Wells Fargo Arena – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sunday, May 6, 2012, 1:05 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Opening Line: Philadelphia -2 1/2
Current Line: Philadelphia -2 1/2
Opening Total: 174
Current Total: 173 1/2
Opening Money Line: 76ers -145 / Bulls +125
Current Money Line: 76ers -150 / Bulls +130

The Philadelphia 76ers are up 2-1 in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Sixers are 2.5 point favorites at home in game #4.

After losing last year’s MVP Derrick Rose to a torn ACL in the first game of this series, the Chicago Bulls have lost two straight to the #8 Philadelphia 76ers, coached by Doug Collins. The Bulls will most likely be without forward Joakim Noah for game #4 who sprained his ankle in the game #3 loss. Chicago, coached by Tom Thibodeau, won game one 103-91 when Rose suffered his injury with a minute to go. Chicago was blown out in game #2 109-92. Friday night in game #3 in Philadelphia, the Bulls seemingly had the game in had with a 14 point lead in the fourth quarter. However, Chicago went ice cold and the Sixers closed the game on a 23-5 run to shock the Bulls 79-74 and take a 2-1 series lead.

The Bulls shot 37.3% from the field in the loss, including 4/14 from 3 point range. Chicago made 14 of 23 free throw attempts. Chicago had 49 rebounds, 22 assists, and 15 turnovers. The Bulls had 17 fast break points and 26 points in the paint. Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Richard Hamilton had 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists. Noah had 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks before the injury in the third quarter. He tried to return in the fourth quarter but was ineffective. John Lucas added 12 points off the bench. Luol Deng scored only 5 points, but added 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and 3 blocks. Forward Taj Gibson had 6 points and 7 rebounds. He is probable Sunday with a knee injury.

Philadelphia was even worse from the field than Chicago shooting 34.2% including just 1 for 14 on 3 pointers. The Sixers made 26 of 33 free throws. Philadelphia had 43 rebounds, 13 assists, and 8 turnovers. The Sixers had 10 fast break points, and 28 points in the paint. Center Spencer Hawes led all scorers with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Jrue Holliday had 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Evan Turner had 16 points and 9 rebounds. Lou Williams had 14 points off the bench. Williams is probable with a back injury, and so is Andre Igoudala with an Achilles’ strain.

Philadelphia is 35-33-1 ATS this season and the total is 32-37 this season. Chicago is 39-29-1 ATS and the total is 33-35-1 this season. The over is 7-2-1 in the last 9 games in Philadelphia in this series, and 14-5-1 overall. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five in this series.

The Bulls are 4-1 ATS after scoring less than 75 points, 38-15-2 after a straight up loss, 36-15 as an underdog of 4.5 points or less,  including 20-8 on the road, 16-7 as an underdog, 59-29 on one day rest, 2-5 in road games, 1-4 in Sunday games, and as a playoff underdog, and 1-5 in road games against teams with winning home records.

The 76ers are 4-1 ATS after a straight up win, in conference quarterfinals, and after a cover, 8-2-1 after allowing less than 75 points, 6-2 overall, and against Eastern Conference teams, 5-2 against Central Division teams, 7-19 against teams with winning records, 3-9 as a favorite of 4.5 points or less, 1-4 in Sunday games, 1-5 in home games, as a home favorite of 4.5 points or less, and 1-7 at home against teams with winning road records.

The Bulls will be in serious trouble if they lose this game as they will be down 3-1 in the series. The Bulls are built on defense and rebounding, and both will be hurt without Rose and Noah. The main problem for the Bulls is a lack of scoring. I think the Bulls want to send a message and will right the ship with a close gritty win.

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