Here’s the gist for the Sixers’ game with the Bulls 26-38:
- When: 9 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 8 p.m.
- Where: United Center
- Diffusion: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus
- Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app
And here are three scenarios to watch:
A back-to-back road set is not a team’s first wish. However, the Sixers probably wouldn’t have bothered this one much if they had stayed in Texas after beating Spurs in overtime. Instead, they’ll return to play for the Rockets on Wednesday.
“It’s just the worst schedule of the year,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said on Sunday. “We’re 45 minutes from Houston and we’re going to fly to Chicago and play Chicago, then go back to Houston. It doesn’t make any sense, but it is. I’m sure every team has had one or two over the year, and we’re just going to have to fight and win the game anyway.
All of Rivers’ starters played between 34 and 36 minutes against Spurs. Ahead of Sunday’s game, he said the team’s priority in the next five-game seven-day streak would be health. We’ll see if any players are seated in Chicago.
Bulls barely clinging to the argument, missing stars
Since the Bulls’ debut of Nikola Vucevic, Chicago is 7-14 and one of the last 10 teams in both offensive and defensive scoring, according to 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 Wizards in 10th. A spot for a freshman play-in tournament under head coach Billy Donovan appears to be lucky at this point.
All-Star Zach LaVine comes out Monday. He was cleared to join the Bulls after being in NBA health and safety protocols for the past 10 games, but Donovan said the team was relaunching him. The Bulls hope he can play Thursday, per Donovan.
Vucevic is also absent with right adductor strain, and Troy Brown Jr. is sidelined with a sprained left ankle.
The Sixers’ half-court offense was not a force
When an opponent takes care of the ball and prevents the Sixers from scoring in transition, will the team’s half-court attack be good enough to gain depth in the playoffs?
That’s a valid question, and one that comes to mind after Spurs held the Sixers by 18 points in the fourth quarter. San Antonio allowed two quick 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 games on a half court, according to Cleaning the Glass, which ranks 15th in the league. Still, offensive half-court problems haven’t cost the team many close games. The Sixers’ 23-8 mark in “the clutch” is the best in the NBA.