The first round of the NBA Playoffs continues on Tuesday as the Philadelphia 76ers travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of their series. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 pm start time and it will be televised live on TNT. Currently the odds have Chicago favored by 6.5 points with the total sitting at 176 points for the contest.
Free Analysis: The Bulls once again prepare for a game without their best player when they try to put the 76ers in a 2-0 hole on Tuesday night.Reigning MVP Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL late in Saturday’s 103-91 win in Game 1, but not before scoring 23 points with nine rebounds and nine assists. Chicago went 18-9 without Rose during the regular season and is confident that it has the defense and secondary scoring to survive without its star deep into playoffs. Splitting the point guard duties will be C.J. Watson and John Lucas III. Both players shoot just under 40 percent from beyond the arc and will need to keep that up to prevent Philadelphia from collapsing on Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah on the interior. Rose wasn’t the only Chicago player with a big game vs Philly, as four others scored in double-figures. SG Richard Hamilton missed just one shot all day, going 6-for-7 FG and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in 27 minutes of play. SF Luol Deng contributed 17 points (8-of-14 FG) and six rebounds, and C Joakim Noah recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards. SF Kyle Korver came off the bench to tally 11 points on 5-of-8 FG and PF Carlos Boozer had a well-rounded nine points, seven rebounds and four assists in his 27 minutes. Philly had a rough shooting day on Saturday, making just 39.8% FG and 1-of-9 threes. Chicago shot 51.3% FG, making 6-of-14 threes and assisting on 28 of 40 field goals. But the 76ers were able to disrupt the Bulls ball-handlers, tallying 10 steals and forcing 18 turnovers. The 76ers were led by PF Elton Brand in Game 1. He scored 19 points (8-for-15 FG) with seven rebounds and four blocks, while PG Jrue Holiday added 16 points (7-of-18 FG) and seven rebounds, but had just two assists in his 36 minutes of action. SF Andre Iguodala missed the final two games of the regular season with an Achilles injury, but he sure looked healthy on Saturday, playing 39 minutes and stuffing his stat sheet with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. He struggled shooting the ball though, going 3-for-11 from the floor. The 76ers bench is always a big part of the team’s success, and both SF Thaddeus Young (13 points, four rebounds) and SG Evan Turner (12 points, five assists, three steals) contributed nicely, but leading scorer, PG Lou Williams, made just one field goal (1-for-6 FG) and finished with nine points. Head to head, the 76ers are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Chicago, while the home team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Bulls are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite, 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 playoff games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5 and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 home games. The 76ers on the other hand are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Free Pick: Going to look to the Under in this one. The Bulls have played without Rose for 27 games this year and in those 27 games the average score was 180.2 ppg, compared to 187.4 ppg with him. Ok that still puts us over tonight's total, but I feel the Sixers will come out with a great defensive plan and find a way to keep the Bulls Under 90 points in this one. The Bulls have averaged 4.2 ppg less without Rose this year, but more surprising in the fact that they have allowed 2.9 ppg less without as well. That's surprising because he is one of the best defenders on the team. That may also be due to the fact that they seem to slow down the game a bit more as well without him. Chicago has allowed 87.9 ppg at home this year and they did hold the Sixers to under 40% shooting in game 1. The Sixers have struggled some defensively down the stretch, but they know that their only shot here is great defense and I feel they will come out focused at that end of the floor, plus I don't expect the Bulls to shoot 51% like they did in game 1. I really expect a slow paced game that will not even reach 170 points.
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Betting Strategies: Handicapping NBA PlayoffsHost Marco D'Angelo and Pregame Pro Vegas Runner discuss their strategies about betting the NBA Playoffs and being successful.