The Philadelphia 76ers could not close out the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night at home despite 26 points from Jrue Holiday and, surprisingly, outrebounding the Bulls 44-39. The Bulls dominated the charity stripe (24-26), played solid defense, and took care of the basketball. Here are a few observations from the game:
Holiday and Turner continue to provide the offense for this ball club. Holiday scored 16 of his 26 in the first half by shooting over, around, and through the small tandem of Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague. Turner had a good all around game. He rebounded well, played good defense, and made both of his free throws. Backhanded compliments aside, this may have been Holiday and Turner’s best game in regards to chemistry. It has the same feel to it as when Wade and LeBron were trying to gel together. I don’t think they are as lethal as those two, but if given time, the Sixers might have one of the best backcourts in the league.
Joakim Noah taunted the Sixers’ crowd all night. Unfortunately, the Sixers could not get him to shut up. I tweeted about this during the game: Philadelphia fans would fall in love with him if he were a Sixer.
Noah spent the majority of the night setting solid screens, playing great help defense, and getting to the line. Noah hit a backbreaking elbow jumper with the shot clock running out to give the Bulls a seven-point lead with 1:19 left in the game. Just before that, he threw a beautiful pass to Deng on a backdoor cut. This was a game that Noah wanted the All-Star game voters to see.
The UglyThe Sixers held Carlos Boozer in check. He finished with 5 points and 6 rebounds in 26 minutes as he sat and watched Deng and Noah close out the fourth quarter. Most players who make $15 million per year should be on the court in crunch time. His numbers look healthy (14.5 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 16.8 PER), but many think the Bulls are ready to amnesty Boozer at the end of the season. Should the Sixers attempt to sign the thick, undersized power forward from Duke? What’s the worst that could happen?