Philadelphia, PA — The Bulls have completed the Preseason, a preseason that was filled with a mixture of poor play versus great play. Now with the preseason behind them, the Bulls prepare to kick off the 2018-2019 NBA season against one of the eastern conference’s top teams from a season ago, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Through three meetings between the Sixers and Bulls last season, the Sixers won the season series (2-1). In 224 meetings All-Time, the Sixers beat the Bulls 119-105. The last time the Bulls faced the Sixers was on February 23rd, 2018; a game where the Sixers needed a game-clinching free throw from Ben Simmons to defeat the Bulls 116-115, in a close contest at the United Center.
The stats for that contest was about even for both sides, as both teams shot 60 percent from the field. Simmons scored 32 points for the Sixers, while Bobby Portis led the Bulls with 38 points. However, this was last season, and based on the way the Bulls performed through five preseason games, there are some defensive issues that need to be resolved with this current Bulls club. The Sixers could be a tough match-up for the Bulls, to start the season.
Through the Bulls, five preseason games the Bulls have allowed their opponents 102 points per game. The team has been having some defensive struggles, especially with their biggest free agent acquisition in the offseason, Jabari Parker. If that isn’t enough the Bulls have also had some injuries, losing players during the preseason. The Bulls lost their star forward Lauri Markkanen earlier this month as a result of a sprained right elbow. Markkanen will miss 2 months of the season. In addition to Markkanen’s injury, the Bulls also lost Denzel Valentine as a result of a sprained ankle. Both Markkanen and Valentine both suffered their injuries during team practice.
The biggest blow has got to be Lauri Markkanen; a player that there was so much high promise for. The Bulls will be without their star forward till December. For most teams, that’s enough time to dig a big enough hole for yourself to fall into.
“Listen, it’s a part of this game, and once it happens, you move past it and try and put your team in the best position possible,” Hoiberg said. “So once we had our meeting the next day, we talked about the combinations we can use to try and make up for his absence.”
The Bulls have been struggling to find the right mix of players, and as a result, ended the preseason with a below .500 record of (2-3). Although preseason games don’t count, preseason games, however, do prepare you to hit the ground running full speed once the games do matter. The Bulls head into Philadelphia, to play the Sixers who will be coming off of a 105-87 route to the Boston Celtics, Tuesday night in Boston. Last season the Sixers recorded a record of 30-11 at home, where last season the Bulls lost their only trip to Philadelphia 115-101.
The Bulls posted a bismal record of 10-31 on the road last season. The Bulls have also lost both of their preseason games on the road this season to post a record of (0-2) on the road, so the Bulls must prove they can win on the road.
The Bulls and 76ers tip off the first week of the NBA Regular season Thursday at 8pm, on TNT.