What to watch as scheduling hurts 76ers in second of back-to-back
With a victory Monday night against the 26-38 Chicago Bulls, the 43-21 Philadelphia 76ers would extend their Eastern Conference lead over the second-place Brooklyn Nets to a full game. The Nets will conclude a mini-series against the third-place Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
Here’ what to watch Monday night:
Screwed by scheduling
A road back-to-back set isn’t what any team wants. However, the Sixers likely wouldn’t have minded this one much if they’d stayed in Texas after beating the San Antonio Spurs in overtime. Instead, they’ll head back to play the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
All of the Sixers starters played between 34 and 36 minutes against the Spurs. Before Sunday’s game, head coach Doc Rivers said the team’s priority during the upcoming stretch of five games in seven days would be health.
Since Nikola Vucevic’s debut with the Bulls, they’re is 7-14 and a bottom-10 team in both offensive rating and defensive rating, per Cleaning the Glass.
The Bulls have lost three games in a row, dropping to 12th in the Eastern Conference standings, 2.5 games behind the 10th-place Washington Wizards.
All-Star Zach LaVine has missed Chicago’s last 10 games since entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He was listed on Sunday night as doubtful to return vs. the Sixers. Troy Brown Jr. (left ankle sprain) is out and Vucevic (right adductor tightness) is questionable.
Sixers’ half-court offense hasn’t been good
The Spurs held the Sixers to 18 fourth-quarter points. The Spurs allowed two fast-break points all night and the Sixers had plenty of late possessions with little ball and player movement.
The Sixers have scored 96.6 points per 100 half-court plays, according to Cleaning the Glass, which ranks 15th in the league. Still, half-court offensive issues haven’t cost the team many tight games. The Sixers’ 23-8 mark in the “clutch” is best in the NBA.
When: 9:00 P.M. E.S.T.
Where: United Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia +
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Social media coverage: Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter & Instagram.