December 22 Philadelphia Daily News:
“”In an NBA season, you are going to have clunkers,” said Sixers coach Doug Collins after last night’s game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.
As far as clunkers go, this was the clunkiest.
Chicago tore apart a Sixers team that had won eight of 11 going in, scoring at will and waltzing to a 121-76 win, its eighth in nine games.
“That was pretty much an aberration,” said Collins after his team fell to 11-17. “I knew the first 3 minutes of the game. We had no juice. They ran the same play six or seven straight times. I think they scored on eight of their first 10 possessions. For whatever reason, we just weren’t there.”
Neither were two of Chicago’s main players, which makes the loss that much worse. Forward/center Joakim Noah – and his 14 points and 11.7 rebounds – is sidelined after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, and forward Taj Gibson sat out after suffering a concussion in a game this past Saturday.
They weren’t missed. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer provided an inside-out game that the Sixers couldn’t stop. Deng was nearly perfect on his midrange game, making 10 of 14 shots en route to 22 points. Boozer, recently back after missing the first 15 games with an injured hand, ruled the lane, going for 16 points and 11 rebounds, while new starter Kurt Thomas did a wonderful fill-in job, posting 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Sixers were no match for Chicago’s inside game, getting outscored in the paint by 52-26. Center Spencer Hawes was held scoreless in 18 minutes and Elton Brand had just six points in his 28.
Add to the Bulls’ arsenal point guard Derrick Rose, who has that rare blend of speed and quickness, and it was an unfair matchup. He got to the places he wanted to on the court, whenever he wanted, and finished with 22 points, 12 assists and five rebounds in just 29 minutes.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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