As they try to move a two-game winning streak to three on the night of Nov. 3, second-year head coach Billy Donovan and the Chicago Bulls are set to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. As a team with what seems like non-stop drama surrounding it of late, the Sixers are still off to an impressive start to the regular season ahead of two straight meetings with the Bulls.
All of the drama surrounding star point guard Ben Simmons with the Sixers has yet to be a distraction that really seems to impact them in terms of success in the win column. Head coach Doc Rivers and the Sixers seem to be able to move past all of the drama surrounding Simmons missing games for the Sixers without too much trouble.
Following a Nov. 1 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Sixers are sporting a record of 5-2. They are one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference standings right now, behind the likes of the Bulls and the Miami Heat.
Despite Simmons missing from the lineup all season, the Sixers are getting steady production so far from centers Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond, guard Seth Curry, and forward Tobias Harris. The Sixers also didn’t have the most difficult stretch on the schedule to begin the regular season.
That will start to change soon, though.
These two straight meetings between the Bulls and Sixers will be very telling about where each team is at early in the season. If the Bulls can get the likes of star shooting guard Zach LaVine and the red hot star shooting guard/forward DeMar DeRozan going in this game, then it will be tough for the Sixers to come away with a win in either matchup.
Chicago Bulls need to get Zach LaVine going against a Sixers team without Ben Simmons
But the Sixers have proved a difficult opponent for LaVine and the Bulls in recent history. Strong defense played by the defensive stopper wing Matisse Thybulle and Simmons have really slowed down the offensive production of LaVine.
With Simmons missing, though, the Bulls might have too many weapons for the Sixers to slow down defensively. The Bulls do still have to find a way to slow down Embiid and Harris in the Sixers frontcourt. Winning the battle on the boards and finding a way to limit the production of Embiid and Harris will be major x-factors for the Bulls in these two games.
Being able to get the likes of LaVine, DeRozan, and star center Nikola Vucevic going offensively against a still solid defensive team like the Sixers will be the other key to success in these games.
The Sixers are currently a two-point favorite ahead of tip-off against the Bulls in the first of two meetings in a row between these two teams. Tip-off time for the first matchup is set for 6 p.m. CT at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly. And the second meeting between these two teams will take place on Nov. 6 at the United Center in Chicago.