Wednesday, December 12, 7:30 PM (EST) at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
11-9 (1st Central, 4th East)
12-9 (2nd Atlantic, 5th East)
TV: Comcast SportsNet Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
NOTE: The Comcast Network HD is now on XFinity® Channel 856
Updated: 12:20PM, December 12, 2012
by Warren Croxton
MATCHUP TO WATCH
F Luol Deng vs. G-F Evan Turner
Playing a league-high 39.4 minutes per game last season, Chicago's Luol Deng took more shots per game (15.2) than in any other season in his nine-year career; his shooting percentage dropped to its lowest ever (41.2 FG%). From 2007 to 2011, Deng shot 40.3% from 3-23 feet, but, last season, he shot just 32.7% from that range. He's back on track this season, though, scoring 18.3 points per game (his highest average since 2006-07) and knocking down 45.8% of his attempts. When the Sixers and Bulls faced off in Chicago earlier this month, the 6-8 forward from Wow, South Sudan, scored 25 points, pulled down seven rebounds, and dished out a season-high seven assists in a win.
Sixer Evan Turner continues to shine, in what has been a career year for the third-year Ohio State product. In his first eight games, the second-overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Turner, averaged 10.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. Since then, he has a streak of 13 consecutive games with at least ten points, averaging 17.8 per game; he's also pacing at 6.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists a night during that stretch. One reason for the 6-7 swignman's improved scoring prowess this season is his three point shooting. This season, he's shooting 45.9% from beyond the arc; he's just eight made threes away from matching the 25 career makes with which he entered the 2012-13 season. In his team's only game against Chicago this season, he scored 12 points, dished out seven assists, and pulled down four rebounds.
On the year, Luol Deng is attempting roughly one-third of his shots from directly around the rim and he's shooting above 40% from just one spot on the floor - the restricted area (66.7%). During the Sixers' six-game playoff series with the Bulls last season, they limited his attempts from that area to just under three a game. Philly will want to keep Deng out of the lane, after he converted on 5-of-6 attempts from inside nine feet when the two teams met just under two weeks ago.
No Rest For The Weary
The Chicago Bulls come into tonight's game fresh off a 94-89 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last night. The game was played at 8:30 PM Central (9:30 EST), later than any other Chicago home game this season. The team departed the Windy City early this morning and will be right back at it tonight at 7:30 PM. moshey are in the middle of a season high three game winning streak and have won six of their last eight. The Bulls won't fret the disadvantage too much, as they posted the best road record in the NBA last season (24-9) and have won all four road contests against Eastern Conference opponents this season.
1, 2, 3
The Bulls are one of only four teams in the NBA to have at least three members average 7.0 rebounds per game or more. (Atlanta, Minnesota, and Utah are the others). Center Joakim Noah averages a team-high 10.8 per game, while forward Carlos Boozer averages 9.7; wingman Luol Deng adds 7.1 rebounds a night.
Free and Easy
After ranking 22nd in the league in free-throw percentage last season (72.2%), Chicago currently ranks second (80.3%). The Bulls have three players who are top-25 in free-throw percentage, led by injured wingman Richard Hamilton's 93.0 percent (guards Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli are the two others).
LAST TIME THEY MET
12/1/2012 - Chicago 93, Philadelphia 88
After grabbing his own missed free throw, guard Richard "Rip" Hamilton was fouled and sunk two free throws that wrapped up a 93-88 Chicago win over Philadelphia. Hamilton scored 15 points in the contest, including the Bulls' final three points from the foul line. Luol Deng led all scorers with 25 points, as Chicago had five scorers in double figures. Jrue Holiday led the Sixers, with 23 points and seven assists. Forward Thaddeus Young added 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting, also notching four steals and four blocks.