The Sixers are looking for their first four-game win streak as they head into “Chi-City” on very little rest. The Sixers topped the Bobcats in a fairly close game yesterday and will have to bring their A-game once again in Chicago. The Bulls have struggled lately dropping four of their last 6, but are coming off of a blowout win against Dallas on Wednesday. They are rested up and they didn’t have the starters in the 4th, so fatigue will not be an issue.

Without Derrick Rose, who has stepped up for the Bulls? Loul Deng is their current leading scorer averaging just under 18 a game and looking for a 2nd straight all-star appearance. How can the Sixers win this game? First off, they must dig deep into their bench with four of their starters (Lavoy, Jrue, Evan and Thad) played at least 35 minutes. Both teams are weak on the offensive side but in the top 7 in defense. The Sixers have done a great job not turning the ball over. Chicago is the complete opposite. If the Sixers can force turnovers and get on the break, it will be a good fight. Still, Chicago is the much-more rested team.

 

Projected Starting Lineups:

Chicago: PG Kirk Hinrich, SG Richard Hamilton, SF Luol Deng, PF Carlos Boozer, C Joakim Noah

Philadelphia: PG Jrue Holiday, SG Jason Richardson, SF Evan Turner, PF Thaddeus Young, C Lavoy Allen

 

Chicago’s X-Factor:

Taj Gibson- This guy is one of the most underrated players in the league. He fights for rebounds, improved his jumper and been a big part of the offense. In 27 minutes on Wednesday night, Taj had 8 points and 8 boards but the Bulls outscored the Mavs by 35 when he was on the court! Big minutes will probably be coming for him in this one.

Philadelphia’s X-Factor:

Jrue Holiday- This (hopefully) future all-star has been dealing with some easier match-ups lately (Collison, Walker) and this one is no different. This is where we need Jrue to shine. No way Kirk Hinrich or Nate Robinson can match the creativity this guy brings. Need a 20 point-12 assist game from him.

 

Prediction:

A tough, low-scoring game with the good guys getting the L

Bulls 87-76ers 81

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